If Your Message isn’t Relevant, the Medium Doesn’t Matter

Notwithstanding Marshal McLuhan’s famous pronouncement that: “The medium is the message”, the message is actually the most important thing when it comes to product marketing. Without relevance, even your most creative messages won’t be heard.

6% of marketing program failures are due to poor advertising methods or vehicles, while 94% result from going to the market with a poor marketing message. Here’s how segmentation and positioning feed your construction of a messaging platform that can defeat the odds:


Answer these questions: whom will we serve; what are the jobs they need done; what pains and potential gains do they have; which are users, buyers, or influencers; how many are there and where; what are their current behaviors & product use; how do they make purchase decisions; etc. Create personas for each.


As Jack Trout puts it: “Your customers are already either strongly or weakly held by competitors”. Even if customers don’t presently use the competitive product, that product still holds a place in the customer’s mind against which your product will be compared. This is a hurdle that your competitor controls. Positioning is a matter of staking claim to new ground (think benefits) that your competitor doesn’t already own. (You go around the hurdle.) Not just better- different.

Messaging Platform

For each target segment define: your benefits (based upon your positioning), how you’re differentiated from competition, and information that supports your key points. From these stacks, create your messages. Remember, messaging is not ad copy- that comes later. The messaging platform is simply a set of clear statements that define the story you want to tell to each segment. It becomes the map from which promotions, advertising, and sales approaches are plotted, and which can also keep the product development team focused on the core objectives of the product. 

With differentiated messages that are well positioned for your segments, your media can be relevant enough to be heard by customers.