Sometimes you wake up and think you’re living in an alternate reality when it comes to marketing. A “glitch in the matrix” has occurred and perhaps the tactics you’ve been employing, or the words you’ve been using just aren’t landing the way they used to.
Is there anything that can cut through the mental clutter to give you a clear picture of your target customers and their needs? Fortunately, there is a magic “pill” that can give you those kinds of deep insights. Unlike the fictional “red pill” from The Matrix film, our red pill IS the matrix – a messaging matrix.
A messaging matrix is a game plan of sorts. It takes your messaging, amplifies it in all the areas that your customers need to solve their problems, and allows you to broadcast the right messages to the exact customers who need to hear it.
It’s your content strategy superpower. Just like Neo – the hero in the fictional Matrix – this tool allows you to simplify, streamline, and cut through all the clutter to bring your competitors to their knees.
First, Lay the Foundation
To create your own messaging matrix, start with what features set your business apart as a brand. Next, define how those differentiators make a difference for each of your target customer groups.
Don’t keep your musings to yourself. Bring stakeholders from a diverse cross-section of your company’s departments in on the brainstorming sessions.
- Sales teams: Key players on your sales teams can provide feedback they hear out in the field, be they objections or praise.
- Data analysis teams: With today’s technology, your data teams can look at how each target customer segment responds to your current messaging. These insights can help you with content planning as you focus on creating messages like those that resonate best with each segment.
- Customer service teams: These frontline employees hear it all from customers and potential customers. When you combine their insights with those of your data analysis and sales teams, you can come up with a clear picture of what each customer segment looks like and what they need to meet the challenges they face.
- Management teams: Be sure to bring the C-suite in on your plans. Use data insights to show them how creating an organized strategy can save time and yield better results.
- Development teams: When you’ve identified a customer need but don’t have the product yet to meet that need, the innovative minds in your development teams can often create one. Bringing them in on the planning allows them to see your customers’ unmet needs. When they do create a product that meets those needs, you’ll want to add promotional material about that to your content calendar.
You get the picture. The more teams you bring into your planning sessions, the more enthusiasm they will have about spreading the message once you have your messaging matrix up and running.
Next, Create the Matrix
Start with refurbishing your buyer personas for each of your target customer segments with updated information in the following categories.
- General customer data: Demographics, industries, company roles, interest level, and any other pertinent information
- Preferred marketing strategy: Outbound or inbound
- Customer journey stage(s): Where along the customer journey are these personas?
- Pain points: What keeps these customers up at night? Financial issues? Lack of support? Outdated or inefficient processes? Lack of productivity?
- Product value: What advantages will your product or service bring them? What value proposition will appeal to them? Which of your case studies deal with similar customer personas?
Chances are the insights your various teams have gathered will help you refine the data that form these fictional customers that come to life – you guessed it – in the matrix.
Fill in the Blanks with Your Insights
With your customer personas, value proposition, and other data in front of you, answer the prompts on the messaging matrix.
- Write down your positioning statement: Using your value proposition, write down a brief statement that tells how your products meet specific customer needs better than those of your competitors.
- List your brand’s messaging tone: How does your company culture impact your brand voice? Is it formal? Casual? Cheeky? Humorous? Enter a brief description about how your tone pairs with your target customers’ expectations.
- List your key marketing messages: List your main marketing messages. Tag lines, value propositions, product benefits, and cultural fit all factor into your company’s messaging strategy. Be sure to address your customers’ needs in this messaging, as well as data that support your claims.
- Jot down your target customer personas: List the customer persona’s name to jog your memory in the proper blanks. If you have more personas than the three audiences we’ve listed on the matrix template, add them.
Next, with your detailed new customer personas in front of you, check off whether each marketing message is one that will speak to each customer persona’s interests and pain points.
Finally, Put the Power of the Matrix to Work for You
Once you’ve filled all the blanks, you’ll be able to see all the messages that resonate with each of your customer personas. Then, task your content team with creating new content (and revamping older content) that tick off all the boxes for messages tailored to each customer persona.
With more personalized content now possible, thanks to your new messaging matrix, you’ll likely have more conversions – and better ROI – statistics show. As HubSpot’s Meghan Keaney Anderson points out, marketers who personalize web experiences see a 19 percent rise in sales, while leads generated by personalized, targeted content yield 20 percent more leads than generalized content.
After you and your teams get accustomed to using this easy-to-use matrix to build a repertoire of personalized content, you can expand it to a more complex document, as brand strategist Günter Soydanbay shows in his Medium article.
Given the power of brand advocates, employee advocates, and influencers on the visibility of your brand, it pays to tailor some messages to these target audiences as well. When you’re ready to expand your reach with personalized messaging that resonates with these stakeholders as well, create personas for them and add them to your messaging matrix, says Soydanbay.
As you discover how having a messaging matrix makes it easy to personalize your messaging – even on a strict budget – you’ll likely see a difference in your content analytics. The more you incorporate this streamlined solution to your content workflow, the better results you’ll have.
To leverage the power of personalized messaging at scale, you need a content marketing platform that can automate your messaging. Learn how you can reach more potential customers with less effort. Request your demo today.