It’s a fascinating and intellectually challenging process because it involves an in-depth exploration of the startup’s target audiences, which includes their needs, motivations, goals and the sales funnel.
In many respects, what we’re looking to do is get a granular idea of potential and existing customers. Armed with this insight, we can then develop messaging that will, hopefully, resonate because it connect with their core needs.
So, how does this process happen?
To be honest, the best place to start is by talking and brainstorming.
One of the realities of running a startup is you have a tremendous amount of information sitting in your brain. This information needs to be unlocked, unloaded and then picked through to identify the most compelling ideas, topics and themes.
In many cases, it takes several conversations to make this happen. From the outside looking in, it may seem like a slow process but truth be told, messaging slowly unfolds as ideas are pushed into the spotlight and examined. In an ideal world, messaging would happen in a flash but the real-world process it much more measured and methodical.
As you down the messaging funnel, what inevitably happen is the most interesting ideas start to bubble to the surface. It doesn’t necessarily mean they are perfectly formed but they have the potential to be crafted, nurtured and polished.
What’s great about this step-by-step process is it reveals new insights, ideas and information along the way.
By taking a deep dive into your target audiences and market, it provides the opportunity to check out new directions, even if they might seem off the beaten path. You never know where a great message nugget might exist so it makes sense to take a different path.
As much as messaging can take a while to materialize, it is important to have a timeline to make it happen. As a creative process, it is possible to keep going and going, which makes no sense for a business that wants to quickly move forward. In some respects, there is a balancing act between moving methodically and making quick progress.
In the next blog post on Thursday, I’ll look at another angle to messaging: the idea that it’s a fluid and dynamic entity.