As a teenager, my all-time favorite summer job was at an ice cream shop that served 31 flavors – from traditional vanilla and chocolate to more contemporary strawberry cheesecake and caramel praline crunch. The multitude of flavors was a perk for employees, who could enjoy two free scoops during their break. Aside from satisfying my sweet tooth, a fun part of the job was trying to guess which flavor a customer would pick as they walked through the door. We were often wrong about the final pick, but no one ever walked out of the store without choosing something delicious.

Multiple Flavors of Value PropositionRecently, SiriusDecisions launched the Messaging Nautilus™ – a new methodology designed to transform the way B2B marketers create effective content and connect with buyers. One of the eight messaging arcs of the Messaging Nautilus™ involves creating a best-in-class value proposition. As B2B marketers, we’re familiar with this concept. Every company has a value prop – a concise statement of the value it offers, or an “elevator pitch.” But did you know that, like an ice cream parlor, with its many flavors, a B2B organization should have multiple value propositions – one to match each target buying audience?

Think about an offering you’re bringing to market. The target buying audience may be segmented by industry, geography or organization type (small and medium-sized businesses or enterprise). The offering’s core value proposition needs to be refined to fit the vernacular of these different segments. As the target audience is narrowed down to a more granular level, address buyer needs and key issues at the buying center and persona level. The message used to pitch to a line-of-business buyer (e.g. the head of marketing) should be different than one made to the head of IT. Develop not only a core value proposition for the offering, but additional versions that align with the specific needs and lexicon of the buying audience.

My days of eating two scoops of ice cream during every work break are far behind me, but the lesson from that summer job remains – serve customers the flavors that best match their desire.