A 5-step Messaging Ladder for a B2B Solution Launch


This week I find myself preparing for a new consulting offering launch.  Over the next couple months, we will be launching into an innovative space.  I have significant product launch experiences, going back to my first launch at J&J in 1997 (Nicotrol Inhaler®). 

A key learning over the years is that while many things are critical in a launch, one challenge that continues to surface is the messaging.

Your go-to-market messaging is critical because it will be the first thing your customers hear about your product.  Like personal introductions, your first :30 seconds will determine how your product is remembered.  Of course, your messaging should always be based on your positioning. 

So, having said that, I find solution launches an even greater challenge than a product launch.  Unlike a product launch, there are no detailed package inserts or mechanical specifications.  A solution, by nature, is custom.  Another challenge is that there is no other solution in the market today that fits into the competitive framework.  These challenges are both threats and opportunities for our messaging.

So I created a messaging ladder specifically for solutions to capitalize on this opportunity.  This is a worthwhile tool in crafting a message for any product, but has a greater application in the services/consulting industry. 

 5-step Messaging Ladder

[in chronological order]

  1. Client Need – the apex of all marketing, what is the true (stated or unstated) need?
  2. Utilize a reference point – if you’re first to market, use well known products/solutions in related categories as references… but quickly focus on your outcomes
  3. Differentiate (unique) – easier said than done, but why will you deliver on the outcomes you’re promising while no one else can
  4. Substantiate your claims – move beyond theory, difficult in a launch, but use pilot, projections, or past experience (team, solution set, tools, etc…)
  5. Why is this urgent now? – The number one barrier in solutions is NO DECISION… your marketing needs to overcome this barrier at launch

I’m finding this a very useful and practical model.  And while I’m sure it’s not perfect, it will get you 80% to success…. The rest is up to you…  thoughts?  Challenges??

 Good marketing!

 Ramiro Roman