Market Analysis & Communications for the Manufacturing Industry
I recently came across an article and video on Forbes.com titled “How to Pitch Anything in 15 Seconds” that describes a three-step technique for putting together a concise and understandable description of your product or service. The technique incorporates several themes that I have previously discussed and thought were a worthwhile reminder of some key marketing principles.
The author, Carmine Gallo, uses what he calls a message map to outline his technique. A message map is the visual display of the product or service description on one page. He lists a three step process for developing the message map. The following is pulled directly from the Forbes.com article with editorial comments added.
Step One. Create a Twitter-friendly headline.
The headline is the one single overarching message that you want your customers to know about the product. Ask yourself, “What is the single most important thing I want my listener to know about my [product, service, brand, idea].” Draw a circle at the top of the message and insert the headline. Make sure your headline fits in a Twitter post – no more than 140 characters. If you cannot explain your product or idea in 140 characters or less, go back to the drawing board.
Step Two. Support the headline with three key benefits. As I discussed in a previous article, there’s magic in threes – a three item list is much more pleasing to the reader that 2 or 4, for some unknown reason. Specifically outline the three or, at most, four benefits of your product. Draw three arrows from the headline to each of the key supporting messages.
Step Three. Reinforce the three benefits with stories, statistics, and examples. Add bullet points to each of the three supporting messages. You don’t have to write out the entire story. Instead write a few words that will prompt you to deliver the story. Remember, the entire message map must fit on one page.
You can create a message map for any product or service. The real value of this exercise is to help you take a complex or technical product and distill it into clear, simple and understandable terms.