January is a funny month. You’re sizing up last year’s results, while at the same time building plans for the current year. But it’s 2020. A new decade. That’s a big thing. So beyond just trying to kickstart a new year, maybe you need to be thinking even bigger. Now is a great opportunity to look just a little beyond this year and to think about a bigger, more impactful message. Yes – I know that this year’s targets and revenue numbers are insane – and you have to be focused on demand generation and closing deals. BUT, with a message that may not resonate in this new period we are in, will you be missing opportunities?
So, what do you do to upgrade a message for a new decade? Here are some steps you can take:
- Audit all your value propositions. Pull all your value propositions together and take a look at them. Do they fit together? By that I mean, do they all plug into your overall brand message? Can you put them into a hierarchy that clearly outlines how each offering fits into the overall brand message? This is a great approach because it shows what fits, what is an outlier and where you may have overlaps or gaps in your messaging strategy.
- Do the mirror test. As I often say, think of each value proposition as an actual mirror. Whose face can be seen when looking into it? Your company or your buyer? The buyers shifted solidly into the power position in the past 10 years – so this decade there is no excuse to keep showing them your face. Review each value prop to see if it truly has buyer issues and buyer language – not reverse-engineered pain points from your products or services. It makes a difference.
- Reintroduce yourself to your personas. It makes sense to re-evaluate your buyer audience periodically and now would be the best time. Did it shift over the past decade? Are there emerging personas that you need to cover more fully this year? If your personas just look like a list of titles, I have news: they aren’t personas. True personas are about buyer behavior, beliefs, and goals. The only way to really get at that is by doing solid, primary research via buyer interviews – a great “new decade” investment that will help you hone in on the right mix of targets, the right buyer issues and motivations – and the right language.
- Translate “company-speak” value propositions. Upgrade your current product and service value propositions to use buyer language, focused on true buyer issues. Too many value props are used to start talking about features and benefits. The value prop is the BEGINNING of the conversation – and its way past time for that to be all about the buyer. This decade commits to flip your value prop to messaging that will resonate with buyers from their own point-of-view. There is plenty of time for product and service messaging, once you have proved yourself relevant with a message that attracts, rather than pushes.
Now is the time to get your value proposition house in order. There will be lots of work on content both for your buyers and your sellers. Making sure that everything is consistent, all of-a-piece, easy to communicate AND consume is important. Want to be sure your value props aren’t “so last decade”? Step back and take a look.
Not sure how to get started? I have lots of ideas to help you structure an approach. I’m happy to have a short chat to get you started – grab a time here. You may also want to view this webinar Value Proposition Mechanics for Marketing and Sales from the Sales Expert Channel on BrightTALK.