Where's the "me" in my company's marketing messages? - B2B marketing agency for technology sector | London | Now

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Where’s the “me” in my company’s marketing messages?

Guest blogger Barry Borington, CEO & thought leader, offers up his top tips from the top

The messaging makeover takeover: how CEO's can help their marketing teams manage the message

I launched B2BBorington™ (Ltd) seven years ago when we were a start-up working out of my garage. Now I employ nearly 100 people and have a dedicated creative marketing team.

Before we get started, full disclosure: Until recently, I never really rated marketing. They always seemed to just waltz into the boardroom like they’re Tom Cruise on the Graham Norton show then start telling me what’s wrong with my marketing strategy. “It all starts with education”, they say. “You’ve got to educate the customer”. Next thing you know they’re telling me the best way to educate the customer is to dumb everything down, “keep it stupid and simple” they say, “find a set of words my granny would understand”.

Well here’s a newsflash Marketing Mega-minds: My granny can’t work the Sky+ box. She didn’t understand what I was doing when I first invented the BoringtonB2B tech tool kit 1.0 in the family garage seven years ago and she’s none the wiser now. When people ask her, she still says I’m keeping myself busy doing “something with computers!” 

So educating granny is a non-starter. It’s all the other customers I’m more worried about. They don’t really seem to get what our innovative tech does either! I’ve given them all the presentations, all the specs, explained all the patent-pending trademark tech we’ve developed, but does the penny drop? No! Zip! Lightbulb moment there is not!

My marketing team says a properly considered messaging playbook is badly needed so I’ve offered to take the lead on developing that. The goal is to make sure the new messaging we create clearly communicates the unique features and benefits we’ve developed for our tech suite over the years. Since the majority of the unique features and benefits we’ve created were created by me, my role is obviously pivotal.

Top marketing tips from the top

How CEO's can help marketers get the message

As the founder and CEO of a fast growing tech start-up, it’s your job to help the marketing team succeed. You’re going to need a gameplan, and the good news is that I’ve come up with one. Here’s how you can empower the marketing team with everything they need to deliver the marketing messages you’re looking for.

Step 1 – Control bridge & tell: Take time to hear out the marketing team. By listening closely, to all the points they want to make, you’ll be able to smoothly bridge to all the points you want to make, then tell them what to do.

Step 2 – Be engaged 24/7: When the marketing team produces a draft version of the new messaging playbook, show them you’re engaged. Offer to review every draft quickly and commit to providing detailed feedback fast. You’ll often find that marketing experts and copywriters miss out very important features and benefits when they try to “distil down” product descriptions into short pithy language. You can help them here by putting the features and benefits they considered secondary back into the messaging playbook they are working on. You may have to do this more than once but slowly they’ll come to recognise the critical nature of the information they’ve previously redacted.

Step 3 – Use a check, check and check again checklist: Before finally signing off your new messaging playbook, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Is everything I considered important about my innovative tech product before we started this exercise included in the new messaging playbook? 
  • Is there enough Jargon?
  • Have words that describe the Most Important features or benefits been Capitalised for Extra Emphasis?

If you can confidently answer yes to this checklist, you’re good to go.

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