June 14, 2011
Much like in the story of “Goldilocks and the Three Bears,” tech marketers must find the right balance between too many and too few messages. Common pitfalls include standardizing on a one-message-fits-all philosophy to having so many messages that sales and marketing are unable to deliver them to the right people, at the right time, and in the right context. That’s where Guiding Principle Number Five fits in.
Guiding Principle Number Five: Messaging 3×2
For almost all technology solutions, it’s necessary to have variances in messaging to reflect the different roles or titles, geographies, size companies, different industries, etc., that tech marketers are targeting. The good news for tech marketers is that Forrester Tech Marketing Navigator data shows that by focusing on the top three shared messages that are relevant across multiple segments and the two messages that are uniquely relevant to a specific segment/target, tech marketers can achieve the Goldilocks’ “just right” quotient for messaging.
Let’s consider messaging for a cloud-based solution as an example. The shared messages will include attributes that are universally applicable to multiple segments — such as ROI/business value, proven success with other companies, and the ability for the solution to deliver as promised. Shared messaging also represents a great opportunity for tech marketers to link internal stakeholders together during the evaluation and buying process (which is critical as discussed in Guiding Principle Number One.) The unique messaging will need to be tailored to the particular segment that they’re targeting. For example, messages such as technical innovation and the ability to integrate the cloud-based solution with existing on-premises IT infrastructure will be more unique to an IT audience. Meanwhile, ease of adoption and the ability to align with existing business processes will likely appeal more to a line-of-business audience.
So the next time you are deciding on how many messages are necessary, remember 3×2 — it will serve you well.
About the data: These data points come from the Forrester Tech Marketing Navigator database and decision tool that helps tech marketers reach and influence their buyers. Forrester Tech Marketing Navigator measures how tech buyers and influencers consume marketing across awareness, consideration, and purchase. The data is collected through more than 20,000 interviews per year, covering 20-plus technology categories, across 11 geographies, and annually influences more than $4 billion in marketing program spend.