by Joanne Gore
I’m sure you’ve all heard about an “elevator pitch”. It’s the 60-second overview (approx. 200 words) of who you are, what you do and how you can help the listener. Why is it called an elevator pitch? Imagine you are getting into the elevator at street level. You should be able to deliver your pitch before you get off at the eighth floor.
But before you can craft your pitch, you need to first consider your OVERALL core messaging. Not only do you need to articulate clearly what it is you do, but how that differentiates you from the competition. Core messaging positions you within the marketplace and provides a solid foundation from which you can create the content and communications required to support your overall sales and marketing strategy that will ultimately grow your business. Think of it is as the foundation of a house. If it isn’t strong enough to support your needs, no matter how much paint you put on it, cracks will begin to surface.
The process isn’t complicated. In fact it’s quite simple. What stumps most people is the fact that core messaging is not about what you WANT to tell your customers. It’s about what they NEED. Because let’s face it, it’s not always easy to put yourself in the customer’s shoes. And the longer you go without, the harder it is to create.
Once complete, your messaging should be able to help you:
Improve executive alignment – Ensure all are on the same page with regard to company and product positioning
Provide optimal positioning – Ensure you have chosen the best possible means of expressing your value proposition to the right targets
Craft resonant messaging – Ensure you speak about the value prop in a manner that fits the world view and concerns of your target market
Produce hard-hitting collateral – Ensure the positioning and messaging in collateral compels prospects to action
So here are some questions you should ask yourself to start the process. Remember, it may take a couple of kicks at the can, and you may want to consider bringing in an outside facilitator (most PR firms and marketing consultants offer this service) to help you explore new ideas and concepts instead of the “same old same old”.
1 – What do you do?
2 – How are you different or unique?
3 – What are the key benefits? (in other words, what’s in it for ME, the customer?)
4 – What is/are the target audiences?
5 – What are their characteristics? ie: demographics, education, habits, etc.
6 – Who’s the competition/what are the competitive alternatives?
7 – What are your customers’ pain points/needs?
8 – What is this customer’s compelling reason to buy?
9 – How could you make your customers’ lives happier, easier or more profitable?
10 – What is the price? How can a measurable ROI can be realized?
Once your core messaging is complete share it within your company. In addition to marketing collateral, you now have material that can be used in RFPs, presentations, award submissions, vendor briefs, and yes … your elevator pitch.
Revisit your messaging when you introduce a new product/service, introduce a new channel, or target a new market segment. It’s a living, breathing document and once the hard work is done, it’s relatively easy to keep current.
About Joanne Gore
Joanne Gore has nearly twenty years of marketing and communications experience, including corporate and small office environments. She is a talented and creative marketing professional, always positive and able to see the big picture. She possesses the organization/prioritization skills which allow her to manage multiple projects from inception to implementation, meeting deadline demands and budgetary constraints.
A true mentor, Joanne marries her passion for marketing with clear, creative feedback and inspiration. Joanne develops lead generation and conversion programs, re-brands product lines, implements social media strategies, manages PR and media relations campaigns, overhauls websites, develops highly targeted marketing campaigns, and delivers results.
Joanne graduated as a Graphic Designer and, prior to joining the corporate world, worked in the print industry as an art director, typesetter, and printing consultant. Joanne is a marketing geekette by day, a fitness instructor by night, and a mom 24-7.