Being the sports enthusiast that I am, I love this time of year. March Madness is in full swing and down to the Final Four. And what madness this year’s tournament has delivered so far. Exciting opening rounds, Sweet Sixteen and Elight Eight games.  A decision here or there has decided great games, and amazing execution has followed. We’ve seen surprise after surprise of upsets of favored teams by the upstarts — all with the common goal of  cutting down that net.

While surprises, upsets, and last-minute execution shifts may make for thrilling college basketball games and entertainment, they’re not part of a winning strategy for your market messaging and customer engagement, which drive the growth that your CEO expects.

In our discussions with CMOs and marketing leaders across industries and business models, we find that many senior marketing executives still struggle with bringing a disciplined approach to the creation and execution of messaging. Rather, we see messages developed in an ad hoc way to solve the need of the moment, giving little thought to alignment from the customer’s view across touchpoints.

With customers making the majority of the decision to purchase before they seek engagement with either a B2C or a B2B firm, your message is your company and must do the hard work of representing your brand promise from the customer’s point of view. In the world of today’s empowered customers, your existing ad hoc messaging approach will not support your efforts to win, serve, and retain customers. It’s time to bring new structure to your messaging madness by putting your customer in the center and aligning your message from the top level of brand messaging all the way through to individual product offerings.

An easy task? Not by a long three-pointer at the buzzer.

But that’s where Lori Wizdo's and my new report “Don’t Let Muddled Messaging Compromise Customer Experience” can help. Our new research provides a framework for CMOs to create the connective tissue of a strong messaging architecture to strategically accelerate the development, simplify management, and foster effective delivery of content — from thought leadership to sales and service conversations. Read the report and learn how you can:

  • Adopt a strategic messaging architecture (SMA) for message management. Modern marketing mandates that CMOs adopt a new approach — the SMA — to effectively create, manage, and operationalize the myriad messages that their organization creates. The SMA is a message design construct that supports your entire go-to-market strategy. Starting with your top-line company and brand messages, the SMA is expanded with lower-level tiers to accommodate the messaging required for more detailed strategies, initiatives, programs, promotions, or organizational functions. Our new SMA framework will help you link your brand promise and contextually based customer engagement activities into a consistent messaging system
  • Use your new SMA to align messages across multiple levels. Message maps enable marketers to engage in conversations with different customers, at different altitude levels, with different needs, and at different times across the customer life cycle. Once you develop a message map, it serves as the blueprint for all communications on a topic — from management talking points to marketing campaigns, digital content (from Web to social), and sales enablement materials.
  • Accelerate content development. When the marketing team agrees on key messaging upfront, you avoid defining the message every time you create new content. This means fewer iterations and faster content development. And message maps provide guidance to external resources, enabling them to create material that supports and elaborates on your essential positioning.

With the proliferation of digital, human, and social touchpoints, strategic message management is no longer a nice-to-have. It’s a must-have to both ensure a consistent customer experience and align your marketing and sales efforts for maximum revenue impact. CMOs, don’t get left behind.

I’d love to hear your comments and perspectives about this topic. Please reach out to me via email, on my blog, or on my Twitter account with your thoughts, or request an inquiry with Lori or me here.