Marketers from Intel participated in my recent ANA content marketing workshop. In my workshops, marketers learn how to create Message Maps to clarify and simplify marketing messages.
To my surprise, the Intel marketers put Message Maps to use quickly – in fact, within a week!
Why did Intel move so fast?
The company was working with a big customer that needed to reach a decision on how to position a new product. And the product launch was only weeks away.
While, unfortunately, for competitive reasons, I’m not at liberty to share specifics about Intel’s customer, I can share their Message Map story with you.
When you need a customer to reach its decision quickly, you can speed the decision process with Message Maps.
1-Page Message Maps help you make ideas crystal-clear
Intel needed to get onto the same page about the new product’s positioning. Marketers inside Intel needed to reach agreement first, then win the customer’s approval, to act in time for the product launch.
The marketers created a 1-Page Message Map, then rapidly evolved it with others’ input, to define the product positioning. They fostered quick decision-making on the product positioning through these 3 steps.
Reach agreement inside your company
Intel’s Message Map for the new product helped gain alignment within its internal team.
Through a series of meetings and reviews, the marketers refined and clarified the product’s selling points. By working with multiple departments across the company, they sharpened the product’s differentiation.
The Message Map helped them to crisply articulate the end-customer selling points. Being able to show the positioning of the product and the supporting points on a single page proved most useful.
Having reached internal agreement on the product positioning, they were ready to take the next step.
Gain agreement with multiple decision-makers inside your customer
To move forward, Intel needed to win support from multiple departments inside its customer for the proposed product positioning.
These working-level decision-makers included:
- Engineering and product development
- Product marketing
With past products, Intel marketers had proposed product positioning to the customer via pages and pages of bullet points. But this time, Intel used a 1-Page Message Map instead.
Intel sees a Message Map as a very visual format to show the positioning statement and the associated positive points. Putting all the information on one page:
- Simplified and clarified the positioning
- Enabled people to grasp the positioning quickly and clearly
- Sped up the customer’s decision process.
After the customer refined the positioning at a working level, it was time to take the proposed positioning upstairs. The product positioning needed to get a go-ahead from the customer’s General Manager.
Win approval from your customer’s top executives
Since the customer’s GM was an engineer by training, he gets deeply involved in decisions such as product positioning.
In a pivotal meeting with the GM and staff, they were able to reach consensus on product positioning in a single session, using primarily a 1-Page Message Map.
The three positive points to support the positioning statement, along with the proof points, made it much easier to articulate the product positioning. After they completed the work on the single product, they then showed two products on one page, which led to a speedy decision.
The Message Map helped them build consensus with the key stakeholders working on the product.
Intel had a very positive experience with Message Maps. Moving forward, they plan to continue using it as a key tool for product positioning.
When you need to make tough, complex decisions that involve many decision-makers, skip the PowerPoint slides. Crystallize the solution on one page with a Message Map.
Using the Message Map approach to product positioning:
- Sharpens your focus
- Leads to faster decisions
- Saves you precious time
- Guarantees a crystal-clear message for your product in the marketplace.
Here’s more on how to use Message Maps for content marketing.
As a marketing change agent, I consult with clients, lead content marketing workshops for the Association of National Advertisers (ANA), and write the weekly Simplify Marketing blog.
With experience from Fortune 500 companies such as AT&T, RR Donnelley and Tellabs, I've been named:
- Content Marketer of the Year by the Content Marketing Institute.
- Best Marketer by BtoB magazine.
- A B-to-B CMO to watch by Fierce CMO.
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