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professional services marketing

Why key messaging is important for your firm

Posted by Shelley Garcia-Webb on Sat, Jul 23, 2016

Why key messaging is important for your firmWords and images have been the go-to ‘gadgets’ in every marketer’s toolkit since marketing was invented. Nothing much has changed from this perspective. But with advances in digital marketing, it has become more difficult than ever to break through the noise. Brands need stories that are well crafted and memorable.

Business administrators and CEOs of listed corporations alike must be able to articulate their brand story. One of the primary ways we make sense of our world, and our place in it, is through stories. The same is true of brands. Brand stories give meaning to who we are and what we do.

Far from being a window dressing, they are key business drivers. Ultimately, it is your brand story that helps you to articulate your point of difference – the ‘why’ behind a customer’s critical decision to choose your firm over another.

Developing key messaging that articulates your firm’s brand story will help to correctly and consistently position your business in the marketplace. Key messages help employees and advocates for your firm to ‘speak with one voice’, both internally and externally.

A Key Message Guide is a valuable tool for harnessing the power of your communications. Most firms are familiar with the use of a Style Guide – a manual showing exactly how and when to use an organisation’s visual assets such as logos, corporate typefaces and colours. A Key Message Guide can be thought of in a similar way, except it’s the reference point for your messages … the ideas, stories and values that constitute your brand.

What’s in a key messaging guide?

1. Value proposition
Why customers choose your firm. The value proposition is the benefit (real or perceived) that differentiates you from the competition. Focus on answering these three questions: who, what and why?

2. Motivating brand idea
Describes the idea that is at the heart of your firm’s purpose. Usually expressed as a single sentence, it becomes the filter through which all brand related ideas go through.

3. Elevator pitch
An overview of your firm. This should be able to be delivered in the duration of an elevator ride – 30 seconds and 100 words.

4. Tagline
A simple and short phrase accompanying a logo or brand that encapsulates a firm’s appeal.

5 . Key messages
Usually expressed as a hierarchical list of short succinct core ideas about your firm that you need to convey in every piece of marketing communication.

6. Your story
The narrative behind why customers choose your firm over another.

If you would like to learn more about why key messaging is important or if you would like some assistance expressing what your firm brand stands for, download our Message Architecture Program ebook here. We’ve worked with a number of firms to uncover their brand story and to maintain brand integrity through consistent messaging.

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This blog was written by Shelley Garcia-Webb

As a Senior Account Manager, Shelley oversees the corporate communications for a large portfolio of clients. She has a strong reputation as a dedicated marketing professional with a keen eye for detail. When she’s not writing creative copy or juggling multiple projects she can be found obsessing about food, dreaming about outdoor adventures and travel and dancing to live music … especially The Cat Empire.


Topics: imageseven, Branding, Communication, Copywriting, Positioning, Marcom, Rebranding, Professional services marketing, PSM, Messaging