February 15, 2007

A metric for messaging

Posted in CEO, marketing at 6:34 pm by scottmaxwell

Firas Busnaq recently sent me a link that completely clarified why I can’t read some of the technology company websites and understand what the companies actually do. It turns out that they are using an automated system for generating their branding🙂
Getting your message to stick is one of the inexpensive and most important activities that you can do. if you think that you do have your messages clearly articulated and as simple as possible, here is a test that will give you a metric for your messaging:

  • Write down your messages on a piece of paper (btw, if you need more than a postcard, simplify your messages!)
  • Ask 3 board members what you do (score 1 point for each board member that comes close within 30 seconds after the question is asked. Score -1 point for each board member that takes longer than 60 seconds to complete the answer)
  • Ask 3 of your most senior people what you do (score 1 point for each board member that comes close within 30 seconds after the question is asked. Score -1 point for each board member that takes longer than 60 seconds to complete the answer)
  • Ask 3 salespeople what you do (score 1 point for each board member that comes close within 30 seconds after the question is asked. Score -1 point for each board member that takes longer than 60 seconds to complete the answer)
  • Ask 3 customer support people what you do (score 1 point for each board member that comes close within 30 seconds after the question is asked. Score -1 point for each board member that takes longer than 60 seconds to complete the answer)
  • Ask 3 customers what you do (score 1 point for each board member that comes close within 30 seconds after the question is asked. Score -1 point for each board member that takes longer than 60 seconds to complete the answer)
  • Clearly, the top score would be 15 points on this test. If you score less than 10 or less than 2 points for any of the groups that you interview, you should work on simplifying your message, making your message “stickier” by making it resonate better, or work on your message delivery systems! (btw, in my experience this test results in negative numbers the first time it is given…a score of -15 is not uncommon for the first test if you are accurate in your scoring)

    The more you can push the score toward 15 with a relatively random sample of people closely related to your company, the more clarity your message and the easier the message will diffuse to your prospects!

    Note: if you don’t have a company large enough to connect with 15 people, then interview the group that you can…you are actually in a better position to get your messaging right as early in your company development as possible…

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