The Beginner’s Guide to Message Testing for B2B Marketers

What is one thing that should play a more important role in every marketer’s life? Message testing.

And here’s why: Let’s say your tech company wants to produce a new product. As a marketer, it’s your job to promote the product and build the story around it. If the story isn’t successful, it could affect the product’s success. If people don’t understand how it can help them or why they need it, they won’t be likely to buy it.

But, message testing, which is part of market testing, can help you craft the perfect message, one that meets your company’s needs, the market’s needs—and the needs and desires of people interested in your type of product.

What Exactly Is Message Testing?

Message testing helps marketers and companies find out what their customers and potential customers are thinking. This way you can determine what messages will resonate and cause people to take notice.

Depending on how aggressive you want to be, there are different ways to reach people: interviews, surveys, focus groups, social media, search engine analysis, multidimensional scaling and more. You can even run some really simple tests. It doesn’t have to be an expensive process.

How Important Is Message Testing?

Message testing is one of those things that can make or break a product.

Using real customers and real experiences is the best way to create a message that people will connect with. If you want to create powerful, compelling messages for your company’s products and projects, the information gained during message testing can be very valuable.

As a marketer, it can be easy to think too broadly about your product and how people will use it. The problem, however, is that the message gets diluted. If you want sustainable success, testing is the way to go.

How Message Testing Is Conducted

At Explorics, we use a mix of qualitative and quantitative methods to conduct message testing. Usually we do this two to three months before a product is released, but for some companies, message testing can be conducted even before a product is decided on.

We developed a tool called a conversation roadmap to document the messages in different ways for our clients. We are able to capture the essence of a product’s value and why it is different.

Then we use our technical expertise and understanding of customers to help clients make informed and confident decisions.

What makes us different is that we work with our clients, rather than doing everything for them. This way people buy into the ideas, learn something and make them work. No more market research projects sitting on shelves not being used.

Multi-Variable Message Testing Chart

Message Testing Example

Here’s an example of a messaging project that our company worked on for a security company:

This company had a feeling that its homepage message, the one that its sales team was positioning, was not strong enough.

First, we developed a presentation with no branding. Then, we found existing customers and other people to watch the presentation and asked them many questions about what they remembered, what they thought the product was and more. What we found was that the company had a larger messaging opportunity than it had thought.

With a new message, informed by message testing, the security company expanded the way it positioned itself, giving it a bigger footprint and more confident sales reps.

Who Most Needs Message Testing?

Any company can use message testing, but the areas that most benefit from message testing are more technical products. It can be really difficult for marketers to explain the different technologies, but people who are using those technologies are often able to describe what they use them for and why.

Message Testing Is Important

You want people to understand the value your product or project will bring to the market. If they don’t, they won’t take action. And your company will lose money. That’s why message testing is important.

The biggest thing that holds people back is the fear of putting a message out there. Companies think that people are going to remember their messages later and call them a flip-flopper, but that doesn’t happen in the real world.

Marketers need to get out of the building. They need to talk to a lot more to customers than they do.

Get Out of the Building

At Explorics, our philosophy is: You can move a lot faster if you’re out there testing the market earlier rather than later. Do you have any questions about message testing for a product or idea? Leave them in the comments section down below!

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