Why your business message needs a map
I love maps. They help you find out where you are, decide where to go and figure out how to get there.
Similarly, a 1-Page Message MapTM helps you do 3 things:
- Discover your story and deliver it consistently.
- Win over your customers, employees, investors, and influencers.
- Tell a story that carries your business forward.
How to create your own Message Map is one topic we’ll discuss in my ANA workshop, Fast-Forward Your Content Marketing, April 12 in Chicago.
Discover your story and deliver it consistently.
Decades of experience have taught us: to create a company’s best possible story takes a team. While founders’ origin stories can be fascinating, working with a founder or CEO alone leads to a story with tunnel vision, reflecting a viewpoint held by only one person.
That’s why we work with teams of 4 to 12 people to create a company’s message. The right team includes those who know the business, subject matter and audiences best.
Working with a team brings more material to the table. It also enables people to ask tough, penetrating questions and encourages everyone to get behind the same story as you co-create it.
We seek out executives and experts who have valuable examples, analogies, and stories to offer. Diverse viewpoints spice up a company’s story and make it even more powerful.
In creating Message Maps, we discover a story that resonates across all audiences. Through co-creation, it also wins backing from the leaders of a business, product unit or nonprofit.
Great messages require everyone to work towards the same goal, understand the facts the same way, and even use the same words to tell the company’s story. In a Message Map workshop, we co-create your story and practice telling it to make it better and better.
Win over your customers, employees, investors, and influencers.
A great business story reveals a company’s purpose and shows how it benefits all its audiences. The right message garners support from your customers, employees and investors.
It also helps you gain backing from influencers such as the news media and industry analysts.
Because your audience has a limited attention span, you need a story that grabs attention quickly – as fast as 7 seconds. The average attention span is only 8.25 seconds long, so that quick start makes a big difference.
First, hook your audience with your 7-second message – a concise, compelling, crystal-clear home base supported by 3 positive points.
Then, extend your story to 2 minutes, 5 minutes, 20 minutes or more as you deliver examples, stories and facts and figures from your Message Map.
Having a map enables you to keep your story focused on driving home one main point. And it helps you repeat your main message with a variety of examples that keep it fresh.
A Message Map can add tremendous discipline to the job of telling your company’s story. It enables you to train all your executives, salespeople, marketers and spokespersons on one consistent message.
When your whole corporate choir sings from the same songbook – literally – your message grows exponentially more powerful. You can achieve the consistency that’s essential to build credibility and memorability among your audiences.
It’s easy to custom-tailor your message to audience segments with a Message Map, without running the risk of conflicting messages that alienate other segments.
Tell a story that carries your business forward.
The best Message Maps tell a story and weave today’s facts with tomorrow’s aspirations for the business. So you:
- Get people behind your story about the company today.
- Inspire people with a story about where the company’s going tomorrow.
Changing a company’s culture is never easy. The right story is essential to help leaders win support.
The right message explains why the status quo is not an option. It enables you to paint a picture of the promised land. It shows how things will be when the company achieves its vision, and how each audience will benefit.
When you need employees, investors and customers all aboard your business strategy, backing a new product launch or buying into your brand promise, you need a Message Map. It enables leaders, marketers, salespeople, and employees to consistently accomplish 3 things:
- Discover your story, and deliver it consistently.
- Win over customers, employees, investors, and influencers.
- Tell a story that carries your business forward.
That’s how Message Maps help you win customers, strengthen employee retention and recruitment, and attract investors and influencers to support your company.
For more about Message Maps, see:
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