When my good friend and colleague and marketing automation guru from Digital Pi Tom Grubb pointed out in this blog, “If you don’t get your messaging right and tight, the revenue you take will rarely equal the marketing investment you make” it got me thinking about the true value of great messaging, story and positioning.   After Tom and I chatted a bit today, we concluded that it really comes down to one key metric, what % of, or how many deals go to revenue for every 100 leads that your marketing efforts capture. So I whipped up a simple model based on my Viewpoint Marketing client experience and that leverages data published by Marketo and others, to try to simply display the true value of great messaging.

Here’s what I came up with:

At the bottom of the ladder, when my messaging is product, or feature function centric, my conversion can be expected to be very poor, less than one in 200 leads converts to revenue deals.  This is the battle that many organizations are still fighting.  As I climb up to unique value, I see a 3x or more improvement to about 1.5 leads per hundred converting.  Investing the time to get beyond feature/function/benefit to unique value is clearly a no brainer.  Next, we move to what I call Aligned Viewpoint.  I’ve blogged extensively about this, and it is a major component of my upcoming book, Stories that Sell and Messaging that Matters.  To summarize here, if we control the CONTEXT of the market conversation by telling a story that aligns our value with the customer’s world, magical things can happen, and we see a doubling or more of this key metric.  Honestly, many billions have been made by doing these two steps well.   And that’s evidenced in part by a 6x improvement from our starting point. This is 100% under our control and if you aren’t doing this, you are missing a great opportunity to improve your business.  This is the true value of great messaging.

However, we do not need to stop there.  Today’s buyer wants to experience your value directly, early and often in the sales cycle.  Once we have aligned our Viewpoint and Value to the buyer, we then SHOW rather than tell it to them with our marketing programs, be it demos, customized web experiences, or a myriad of other interactive content approaches.   Lastly, if we are lucky, we emerge and a market leader and can drive a purpose, think Salesforce.com and “The end of software”.  Markets are BRUTAL, and the market leader owns an incredible advantage because they are the defacto standard.  Leads flow in and conversions skyrocket. They enjoy a 20X or more advantage over their product-centric messaging competitors.

Where are you on this key metric?  Are you ready to do the work to fix your messaging, story and programs and climb the messaging ladder to market success?

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