Another task for 2014 planning: review your messages

I’ll start by apologizing.

I know you’re up to your eyeballs already with your 2014 planning, but I’m going to add another chore to your “to do” list.  Sorry.

Besides working through your budget, marketing programs, headcount, and whatever else you need to have in place when the new year rolls around, I’d suggest you add another item:   

Review your value proposition and messages.

Here’s why.

Most of your marketing plans are meant to deliver your messages to your target audience.   That’s what email campaigns, presentations, webinars, press campaigns, website overhauls, white papers, data sheets, events, customer conferences, and search engine marketing are all about. 

So before you do any of this stuff, you should think about the messages themselves.

  • Do they mean anything to the people you’re trying to reach?  
  • Do they address their problems?  
  • Do they distinguish your solution from alternatives?  
  • Do they compel the prospective customer to act?

In other words, is your value proposition still valid and effective?

Things do change

A value proposition and messages aren’t things I recommend you tinker with very often.  Consistency and repetition are good.

But they are worth revisiting from time to time.  After all, things do change. 

The things customers care about might change.  For example, for some buyers, mobile is much more important now than it was a few years ago, so you’ll need to address that.

Or new competitors may be have come into the market.  That may mean you’ll need to update the way you talk about the unique advantages of your solution.

The best way to figure out if your messages are still valid?   Ask your customers.  

There are a few ways to do that:  surveys, focus groups, interviews, A/B testing, monitor relevant conversations on social media, etc. 

Many companies I work with find it especially useful to have an outsider talk with customers.  (Contact me and I can tell you more.)

However you decide to do it, it’s worth going through the effort from time to time.  Why not now?

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This work by Peter Cohen, SaaS Marketing Strategy Advisors is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License. Images obtained via