The Formula for a Can’t-Fail Message Strategy (And Why Creativity Isn’t Enough)

Creativity can be very useful in marketing, but it won’t get you very far if your messaging strategy isn’t right. It is indeed a waste of talent.

Your messaging strategy supports everything you do in marketing. And when your messaging strategy is executed consistently and repeatedly, creativity is the icing on the cake.

Think of your messaging strategy as the recipe for writing and talking about your product. Your authors follow the recipe, mix the ingredients of the message strategy, add your creativity, and you get a great story about your product.

Position statement defined

A positioning statement is a short, explanatory sentence that makes it clear what you do and why your target audience should be enough to want to know more. Here are some examples of placement statements:

  • Automated business design has created the only site and recruiting software you really need.
  • Stowga is the ultimate tool to instantly find the best warehouse for your business.
  • Vendavo’s CPQ (Configure, Price, Quote) solutions maximize profit at any cost.
  • The Eckerson Group helps you get more business value from data and analytics through strategic advice, innovative leadership, and training.

Creativity can create a solid positioning statement. For example, a financial analysis consultancy has positioned its solutions as “accelerators of decision-making across the enterprise.” The post was in marketing communications such as “see how fast your business can run”.

The support points explain your positioning statement

The answer you want from your position is, “It’s interesting! Tell me more. How do you do that?” Three or four focal points explain how you keep the promise you make in your position; they demonstrate the statement made in your position and help you explain your story in detail.

Support centers also provide a framework for demonstrating products, solutions, or technology. They create a structure to record product details with you. Here’s a positioning statement with two points of support that give you more meaning: “Microsoft Forecaster is the fast and affordable way to take control of budget and schedule.”

  1. This support point quantifies “fast”: “In just two weeks, you can use Microsoft Forecaster to accelerate your ongoing planning and budgeting processes.”
  2. This support point starts a discussion about a “cost-effective” implementation: “You can adapt Microsoft Forecaster to your budget and planning needs without exceeding your budget.”

As you can see, support points give reason to believe your position. Therefore, it is necessary to choose the support points carefully.

Your positioning statement will become the subject of your marketing communication as much as possible. It has to be important, unique, and credible for creativity to make a difference.

You’re ranking statement matters if you are expressing a benefit that solves an urgent problem for your target audience. It must of course appear true and distinctive – no other competitor has the same position.

Creativity cannot help with a bad ranking

No amount of creativity will save your marketing if your position statement doesn’t meet any of these criteria. Buyers only care about how you solve urgent problems. If not, it cannot be creatively corrected.

Try usability

In addition to the three criteria, there is one more test that your messaging strategy must pass before creativity makes a difference: usability. In other words, copywriters should be able to use it in all marketing communications.

Start the usability test by combining your ranking statement and support points in a 75-100 word summary. If your high-level messaging strategy can be executed in a way that seems logical, engaging, and consistent, keep testing it by writing a longer description, a copy of the homepage, and the first few paragraphs of a brochure.

Conclusion

When your messaging strategy meets all four criteria – important, unique, credible, and useful – you’ve laid a solid foundation for all of your marketing communications.

Creativity can make your marketing more effective and help you claim a position in the market.