5 More Essential Elements of Key Message Copy Platforms

June 9, 2015 by

This is the third installment in a four-part series on Key Message Copy Platforms (KMCP).

In the first article, I introduced the KMCP concept and its benefits. A Key Message Copy Platform is a single-document repository which helps ensure that all the key messages used to promote a given product or service will be consistent across all your marketing content.

The second article described and provided tips on five essential key messaging elements you should include in every KMCP you create.

This article, as the title implies, will cover five more messaging elements – the remaining five that I consider essential – starting with the Product Value Proposition Statement…

1. Product Value Proposition Statement

Your product’s value proposition statement sums up why your product is the best available for its target market.

happy little girl with flasks for chemistry isolated on a whiteNot to be confused with the Unique Selling Proposition (USP) – an attention-getting and memory-retention device we’ll look at in the final installment in this series – the Value Proposition appeals to the prospect’s sense of thrift and desire to make a good business decision. It’s a statement of why the product offers better value than other competitors in its niche.

To determine your product or service’s value proposition, ask yourself, “What problem does this product/service really solve for our target market?” Then drill down. Keep asking, “Why is it better than other products for solving that problem,” and “Why does it offer the best value to our market?” Eventually, you should be able to boil it all down into a concise value statement. For more detail on how to craft a strong value proposition, see this article.

Once you have that concise value statement, elaborate on it. Use it to create messages you’ll use throughout your marketing content to convey the primary reason for choosing your product or service over its competitors. Also, be sure to craft a few sample headlines and subheads that use your compelling value proposition to attract prospects’ attention and engage those who scan content quickly.

2. Explanation of the human value the product provides

Besides addressing your product's business value (covered in the Value Proposition section, above), your messaging should also address the human value your product provides.

By human value, I mean how the product will ultimately affect the lives of users, the well-being of stakeholders and the career of the purchase decision maker. This value will usually be expressed in terms of increased productivity and job satisfaction, reduced stress and risk, more time for family and so on.

Tech companies often ignore this type of messaging. Many fear it will seem too overtly emotional, like consumer advertising. But the fact is, B2B buyers – even engineers – make purchasing decisions partly for emotional reasons, even though they may not recognize them as such. You need to appeal to B2B buyers' emotions... but without getting too emotional.

The key, then, is to write these messages in wording that's appropriate for the target audience. For an engineering audience, for example, instead of talking about having more free time or more time with the family, it might be better to talk about not having to stay late or work weekends.

As in the value proposition section, be sure to include sample headlines that draw on your human value key message statements.

3. A complete list of product features and benefits

Most of the key selling points of any product or service are the benefits that derive from its features. Therefore, your messaging platform needs to address the full list of your product's features and benefits. There are two ways to deal with this list in your KMCP.

The first way is to build an independent Product Features and Benefits section. This will be simply a concise list of the product’s features paired with the main benefits each of those features provides.

The second way is to combine this list with the following section, the Benefit-driven Key Message Statements section (below). In this situation, each item in your feature/benefit list becomes a subhead under which your key benefit-driven messages are grouped.

I like the second method, because it makes it easier to find messages associated with a given benefit. To make things even easier, build your features/benefits list first, then fill in you key messages under each item in the list.

4. Benefit-driven Key Message Statements

This is where you put all the messages derived from the product benefits you listed in the previous section. Typically, it will be the largest section in your KMCP.

It is the main section your writers will draw upon to maintain consistent messaging across all your product marketing content.

Again, be sure to include attention-grabbing sample headlines for each benefit. Writers can use these both as headlines and as subheads within collateral to draw prospects into the copy. They also serve as idea generators for crafting similar headlines.

5. Key Message statements to overcome anticipated objections

The final "essential" section of your KMCP should comprise a set of messages that counter any reasons your prospect might give for being reluctant to purchase your product.

Besides normal buying fears, you may also need to address competitor criticism and other unfounded objections. Be sure to talk with your sales team to find out what objections they're hearing from prospects and what your competitors are saying about your product.

Make a list of the objections or concerns your prospects might have, and create messages to respond to each. Then, include them in your content as preemptive strikes against unwarranted fears, skepticism and criticism.

Take-away Points

In this and the previous installment of this series, we've looked at each of the 10 essential elements to include in a Key Message Copy Platform, and we've covered most of the possible message types you're likely to use in your content.

To recap, the 5 essential elements covered in this article were:

1. Product Value Proposition Statement

2. Explanation of the human value the product provides

3. Complete list of product features and benefits

4. Benefit-driven Key Message statements

5. Key Message statements to overcome anticipated objections

Next Steps…

In the final article of this four-part series, we'll look at five optional elements you'll want to include in your KMCP if at all possible. Be sure to check back next month. Better yet, if you're not already a subscriber, sign up for Technical Response, CopyEngineer's monthly newsletter. You'll get next month's article delivered to your inbox on the day of publication, and you'll also receive a free bonus.

CopyEngineer is pleased to offer Key Message Copy Platforms as a new service. For more information, call CopyEngineer at (+39) 011 569 4951. Or drop me an email at info@copyengineer.com.

To find out more about any of my B2B copywriting services, visit my newly updated b2b copywriting services pages.

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