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Personas, positioning, & messaging – a highly effective 1/2 day workshop May 8, 2013

Posted by Mike Gospe in Marketing Persona, Messaging, Positioning, workshops.
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Want to rally your marketing team? Marketing is a team sport, not a solo activity. This half-day workshop, which you can run yourself, will help align the team and unleash untapped sources of creativity and positive energy. Here’s how it works.

The premise

People are busy. You and your marketing colleagues are balancing dozens of tactics. But are these the right tactics aimed at the right audience? Is everyone aligned and aiming for the same target persona? Is the positioning statement focused? Are the messages relevant? Chances are, a small bit of tuning will yield much improved results. But you won’t know that if the marketing strategy is not documented or if your team is silo’d. This is an opportunity to bring everyone together, confirm the marketing strategy, and tune the timing of your go-to-market plan. Marketing teams who make the time to do this often report a 4x improvement in their lead generation activities!

The objective

The objective of this half-day practical “working session” is to share and confirm the marketing strategy. It’s not about updating everyone on a list of marketing tactics. (That can happen offline.) By the end of the workshop, you want everyone to leave with more confidence, energy, and excitement regarding the go-to-market plan and where their pieces fit.

The agenda

1) Review the persona (45 min). Invite a sales rep to describe his or her latest win. Where did the lead come from? How did the sales rep-prospect relationship unfold? What was the conversation? What was the buyer’s business problem or opportunity? What was the buying process and decision criteria? Most marketers never have a chance to hear directly from the sales team on how their leads help drive the sales pipeline. Assuming you want to drive more “sales ready leads” like this one, it can be helpful to remind the team what they are working towards. And hearing from a sales rep helps build the marketing-sales relationship and create empathy for the buyer. While this conversation is unfolding, have someone capture notes on a flipchart. Building or tuning your persona in real time invites discussion and alignment.

2) Hone the positioning statement (60 min). If you already have a positioning statement, now is the perfect time to review it with the marketing team. You’ve already confirmed the persona, now here’s an opportunity to review the prioritization of benefits and competitive alternatives.  If you don’t have one, use this time to create one together. Use the template. A good way to prepare for this exercise is to conduct a “win-loss” report and share the findings with the team during the workshop. When you win deals, why do you win. Why do you lose sales opportunities? (While you can conduct a win-loss exercise yourself, consider outsourcing it. Use a trusted 3rd party to conduct short interviews. A seasoned interviewer will be able to get candid feedback customers may not feel comfortable sharing with you directly.)

3) Tune your messaging (60 min). Can everyone recite your “elevator pitch”? Use the “Message Box” template to focus and clarify your story. You can also use this time to do a quick assessment your recent marketing activities. Is the messaging consistent? Do the messages found in your press releases, advertising, direct mail, website, SEO fit well together? Are the messages synchronized to support the general story, or do they appear to be random? Look for opportunities to tune the messaging now.

The real value of this 1/2 day workshop comes in the dialog you have with your team members. A workshop like this forces the team to communicate and share ideas, feedback, and plans.

For more information

The book, The Marketing High Ground, describes in detail how to conduct these exercises and workshop. I’ve run workshops for companies of all sizes. Drop me a note with your questions.

Mike Gospe

Kickstart Alliance

mikeg@kickstartall.com

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