The Message Matrix provides a consistent structure for sharpening your message to grow your business. But consistent does not mean rigid. The Message Matrix can fit very different companies and market positions if it is used appropriately. This video gives you the basics of understanding market phases and creating a Message Matrix that fits and drives sales growth.
What Marketing Questions Does This Video Answer?
• How can I use a consistent message structure to fit my specific company and market?
- When should I focus on differentiation?
- When should I NOT focus on differentiation?
Hi everybody. It’s Jeffrey Pease of Message Mechanics and I'm very excited that I'm going to be working with you on your Message Matrix and wanted to give you a little bit of background as to why we use a Message Matrix and what the different outputs of the Message Matrix might look like in different situations.
So, when you're trying to come up with a sharp clear message for your company for your product for your new initiative whatever it may be, the fundamental problem is usually that you know too much. You just have too much information too much knowledge too much technical depth and it's typically more than a potential customer can assimilate at any given stage.
So this is a very classical kind of a tech pitch where we're trying to bring somebody to a very simple conclusion but they may never go with us on this journey because we're just deluging them with too much information in too little structure.
So if you really want to make a point you have to literally make a point as in make a point like a caveman made an arrowhead. They took a big hunk of rock and they started chipping things away chipping things away chipping things away until what's left is a very small very sharp and very pointy.
And it's sufficiently pointy to go in the very small aperture of attention that a potential customer has for us at any given moment and then to secure their interest so that they will want to know more.
So how do we get there well that's where the Message Matrix comes in. The Message Matrix is a disciplined structure for boiling your unique value down to a very small set of simple messages that sell. Now the structure is simple and consistent. The structure is essentially the same every single time. There's a positioning statement, there's three Key Messages, no more, and there are nine proof points and that is it!
However what goes in to that structure varies wildly. It varies by the market maturity and your competitive position in the market. Let's take a
look at how that works. The time to focus on differentiation, which is the key variable here, is after a prospect understands the benefits of the category of solution and after they know that you are a member of that category.
So if they don't even know what your kind of thing is, don't try to differentiate on your specific one. If you are a hundred years ago a farmer in Iowa and I'm Henry Ford trying to sell you the first
automobile you've ever seen, if I differentiate by saying hey you should buy my automobile because it has the most efficient carburetor, you're gonna say what's a carburetor, what's an automobile get out of my barn. I have completely missed you by focusing on differentiation.
If, on the other hand, the category of say automobile is already well-established but I'm Hyundai going into the US market in the 1980s for the first time -- then I'm focusing not so much on education about the category as I am focusing on getting consideration letting you know I exist and I'm credible in that category. In other words I want you to stop at my Hyundai dealership on the way to the Toyota lot. And if enough people do that, I will be able to sell some cars. I will get to the next stage of the sales process.
Finally, if you happen to be lucky enough to be in a known category and you're already regarded as a leader,then you can focus very sharply on differentiation. You can explain why I would want your Mercedes instead of any other can. And even if the products are 95% the same you can focus just on the 5% difference.
Now let's see how those different states of market play out when we're actually building a Message Matrix for them.
For example, this is a client I worked with called Continuent and prior to our work together the messaging was fairly unclear and it was somewhat difficult to even understand what the company did or that this was a company versus say an open-source project. It turns out though that what the company was trying to do was establish essentially a new category. What they did while technically very difficult was conceptually simple. They hardened open-source databases as an alternative to databases like Oracle in large deployments. So with that we were able to get from the somewhat chaotic expression they had before to kind of a category building message so the category was this notion of a data management company. And there are certain
traits that that has which are enterprise class solution, cloud flexibility and open source cost.
We're not here necessarily saying that only continuant does these things. What we're saying is these are very good and important things to do and then we go on to prove that we are the ones that actually do them. So that's a phase one education about the category Message Matrix. And that allowed us to get to a much much simpler expression in the market a much clearer website a much clearer marketing message.
Now in the consideration phase we're assuming here that the category already exists. Everybody knows what procurement software is so and if we're not the leader in that category we need to declare our presence in that category and reiterate benefits of the category. And then prove that we do better. So in this case the big benefit we're claiming is that we dramatically cut all supply management costs.
Okay so what are those costs? Well there's goods and services, there's process costs and there's policy compliance costs. And then we go down a level prove out that we do those things very very well. So again it's focused on a bold claim but it's not highly differentiated and we are not starting out by claiming we are the only ones to offer these benefits. We're just going to ultimately prove that we do it better.
Now finally in phase 3 differentiation this is the situation. This is the kind of Message Matrix you create if you are a leader in an already established market. And that was the situation for this company.
Roadmaster we declared and it was true, was the world's leading winter Road weather data solution. Now in a differentiation Message Matrix you make a differentiated claim like that and then you just drive it home in the Key Messages. Why are we that? because we have the most reliable predictions, we have the best platform and we're ultimately the most cost effective -- not because the software is the cheapest but because we work the
best and saving money. So that's an example of a Message Matrix constructed on a pure leadership claim.
So, as you can see the structure of the Message Matrix is always the same, always clear and consistent and that's a very important characteristic. But the content is determined by the maturity of your market and your position in the eyes of others in your market.
And so, one of the first things we're going to do in coming up with a Message Matrix is make those determinations.
I look forward to working with you.