Our messaging isn't resonating anymore
How to evolve messaging for the current macro climate
DEAR STAGE 2: I’ve been running marketing for early-stage software companies for the last 15 years, but this year feels different — our message isn’t working anymore. Our inbound lead flow and outbound conversion are both declining. I am currently trying to convince our exec team to make a big pivot in messaging. What are other companies doing right now? Are you seeing any trends? ~Time for messaging pivot
DEAR TIME FOR A MESSAGING PIVOT: I took inspiration from Kris Hartvigsen at Dooly in answering this question
“What worked last year won’t work this year.”
I couldn’t agree more.
Over the last few years, we have gone through major upheaval in the macro environment. Depending on your industry, you may be feeling the impacts of COVID-19, and now a potential recession, in very different ways.
In tech, we are facing ever-tightening budgets and a massive decrease in new spending. The existing tech stack is coming under cost-cutting scrutiny and every dollar spent needs to be justified and defended. Proving clear and measurable ROI is more important than ever.
But, messaging is only part of this puzzle. Start with your ideal customer profile (ICP), reflect on your buyer, and make sure what you’re saying is relevant to your core audience TODAY.
Zooming out, here a few of the trends I’m noticing in messaging:
Homepage design and messaging is evolving quickly across industries and verticals
Messaging is (often) more focussed on existing revenue and downside protection — think time and cost savings over revenue growth
ROI is front and center. A lot less jargon, and more leading with impact for customers (a welcome change!)
And now for an example…
We could all learn from Clari, the pioneering RevOps platform, designed to improve your forecast. RevOps is certainly on the rise, and so is competition for budget in the sales stack. Clari has done a great job of playing up their unique differentiators and the value they bring to customers in their messaging.
Let’s look at how this has evolved over time.
Back in 2019, Clari was defining a new category, and their messaging was focused on aligning the entire GTM team:
By early 2020, COVID-19 and the rise of remote work prompted Sales Leadership and RevOps to think about how to 1) gain visibility and 2) drive output and execution:
Fast forward to 2022, and the message evolved again — we need to close deals:
And today, I love that Clari is taking the difficult selling environment head on — “Revenue Just Got (Even) More Critical”. They are playing up the pain, and the sub header drives home their value. If that doesn’t connect with their buyer, I don’t know what does:
If this example was helpful, check out my breakdown of how Outreach evolved their messaging over the last few years on the Stage 2 blog.
And remember, messaging is not “set it and forget it.”
Until next week!