Competitive Messaging: Processes, Roles and Metrics
August 16, 2011
This article is part of an ongoing series on competitive messaging for startup and expansion stage companies.
Previously in this series, we looked at the most important benefits of competitive messaging and how it works as a company-level strategy for expansion stage businesses. In this article, we’ll briefly outline the basic processes, roles and metrics for developing a competitive messaging strategy.
First off, developing competitive advantage messages involves the following steps:
- Examine your company’s deliverables and develop a list of candidate statements that you believe might be good messages.
- Conduct market research (preferably through an independent third-party) to test the statements for your target market.
- Finalize the statements.
- Roll out the statements throughout the company and incorporate them into marketing materials.
- Adjust the messages over time.
Key roles for the process
There are two primary roles for competitive messaging:
1. CEO/Executive Team, who set the primary goals and strategy for the process.
2. Internal Manager, who manages and implements the process.
A third role relates to the market research component of the process. We recommend that using an independent, third-party resource to manage the market research among your customers and prospects. This will help ensure that your findings are objective, as third-party firms can perform the research on a double-blind basis (neither the survey taker nor the researcher delivering the survey knows who the client is).
Metrics for reviewing your progress
Metrics are extremely helpful when it comes to accurately setting measurable goals, tracking performance, and gaining insights that will improve your competitive advantage messaging effort. As with all research efforts, the metrics for reviewing progress will only become apparent when you apply the research to your business. The ultimate metric is your conversion rate from prospects to sales, but a good intermediate metric is how well each of your employees — particularly those in sales, marketing, and customer service — can deliver the messages when asked.
Stay tuned for more information on developing a competitive messaging strategy for your company. Next week, we’ll look at some of the common challenges involved with competitive messaging and with tips for getting started.