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13 Tips for Filling Out Your Messaging and Positioning Template

So, your company has decided to prioritize a messaging and positioning exercise. Wonderful! This is good news for sales strategy, your marketing team, any agencies or contractors who write content for you, and frankly anyone who cares about your company’s bottom line. Oh, and your would-be customers too! You’re going to have a lean, mean, persuasive-content-generating machine on your hands when that MPF is done, and prospects are going to be lining up as a result of that work.

image of a person working on their messaging and positioning framework

If you’ve got a template to fill out, you’re already off to an incredible start. In this blog, I’ll share a few tips for tackling the project head on.

  1. Gather all the intel you’ll need. We’re talking about the latest product details, feature release notes, customer personas, intel from sales about what’s resonating on their calls and what’s not, transcripts from customer service, maybe a company vision deck from the big boss, and more. Anything you might want to reference, pull it together ahead of time. It doesn’t hurt to review some practical advice too.

  2. Decide who’s on the team and what roles they play. Creating an MPF takes a village, but not everyone’s roles should be the same. Your primary working group ought to consist of people most familiar with your product’s messaging; usually they’re on the marketing team and it helps if someone’s a decent writer. You’ll want participants from other messaging-heavy teams like sales and customer service, plus someone who knows the product features and roadmap real well. Leadership should be involved for approvals and someone’s gonna have to roll the final document out.

  3. Take your working group somewhere inspirational. It doesn’t have to be fancy or expensive, but it helps to get your initial working group out of their day-to-day scene: someplace that’s quiet enough to focus, novel enough to energize, and comfortable enough to spend some significant time. It could be some kind of offsite location or a space in your office you don’t usually use in this way (pillows on a floor make a usual old boardroom feel new.) If your team is dispersed, finding a cool virtual space can help set the mood.

  4. Remind yourselves what your company is all about. Your MPF is meant to reflect the heart of your company, the best of your work, and the vision you hope your prospects will see. In the day-to-day minutia of their responsibilities, few employees keep the inspirational feelings on tap. Bring it to the surface by rewatching company videos, by reading a feel-good customer testimonial, by listening to a pep talk from a leader with vision. Do whatever it takes get the group fired up about the things that make your company and products so great.

  5. Remind yourselves who your product(s) are really for. It could be faux pictures and fabricated bios printed and taped up around the room. It could be quotes harvested from customer service. It could be a list of attributes you associate with your average buyer. Whatever you choose, get reminders of your prospective customer ripe in everyone’s mind.

  6. Set up well for a brainstorm. Remind everyone of the golden rule of brainstorming - there are no wrong answers, no bad ideas, and you don’t have to figure out the perfect phrasing for anything. It’s all about getting ideas out loud to the group. Having a whiteboard, papers and pens, or a virtual jam space also doesn’t hurt.

  7. Take a break and let ideas simmer. As important as active effort is on any project, it’s equally vital to know when it’s time to take a break. It could be after your brainstorm, or between your early-stage drafts. Whenever it feels right for your group, make sure to intentionally create space for ideas to settle. With a little room to reflect (or think about something entirely differently), the best ideas usually float to the surface.

  8. Pick someone to pen the first draft. Copy written in real time by committee almost never turns out, so hand your best ideas and the framework for thinking to your team’s most talented writer and let them put that first draft in ink.

  9. Refine, refine, refine. With your broader group of cross-functional stakeholders, this is the time to capture team feedback. And when everyone has differing opinions? Remind yourself that’s actually the goal! Get to know nuanced perspectives, find out what’s informing teammates’ points of view, and maybe ID someone to spearhead discussion and decision making just so the group doesn’t get too bogged down.

  10. Make your final version official. Nothing says legitimate more than approval from the bosses, so send that final draft right to the bigwigs. Remind them when it comes to adoption, their endorsement on the MPF goes a long way.

  11. Run a mini internal marketing campaign to get everyone in the company on board. Think announcement emails, humorous memes, and internal contests - anything that rallies the team around a new common goal. You want this MPF to become a living, breathing, functional document that everyone in the organization references often.

  12. Don’t let your MPF gather dust. Link it in easy-to-find places like your internal wiki, the company file drive, new-hire reference sheets, and anywhere your marketing materials, style guides, and sales collateral lives.

  13. Revisit your document often. Take a discerning look at your messaging strategy at least 1-2x a year and any time you have a big product change or company rebrand. The good news is that future iterations are usually far faster and easier to get finalized, especially if you put all the big effort above into v1.

Feeling excited? Fantastic! We’ve got more resources for you if you need them. And hey, if you get stuck along the way or just want to check in with a team who’s done this a lot? We’re just an email away. Good luck!

Sales stuck? It might be your messaging


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