A few weeks ago I alluded to a series of blog posts in which I was going to lay out all the details of our MessageQuest Messaging Framework. The full series won’t be coming until 2024–but I wanted to make good on that promise and at least introduce the process to you this year.
Storytelling. It’s all you hear in marketing these days, but that doesn’t make it easy to execute. Is the story about you? About your customers? What if you have different types of customers? Do you just need a bigger “about” section?
It’s a lot to think about, and it’s even more “a lot” to put together yourself. While I used to be a Guide for another popular messaging framework–in practice, I found that it was really only useful for some of our clients. I needed something that could be adaptable to all of them.
That’s why I developed MessageQuest. I took my 12+ years of messaging and marketing experience, figured out the ways businesses are not all the same, how that can affect the ways they communicate with their clients, and why that matters.
MessageQuest is a messaging framework designed to help you:
- Identify your business archetype
- Match your organizational priorities to your customer journeys
- Build an “inventory” of essential items needed to engage ideal customers
- Work smarter, not harder when it comes to writing copy
- Be nimble with your messaging
Oh—and the whole thing is based on role-playing games like Final Fantasy and D&D. Why? Because the parallel between the games and your business journeys work surprisingly well! Also because I'm determined to prove that messaging can be fun. 😉
How MessageQuest works
Here are a few key parts of the complete MessageQuest framework:
1. Identify Your Class
There are three main class archetypes in the MessageQuest framework. The Merchant is the traditional for-profit business that solves specific problems for their customers in exchange for fair monetary compensation. The Knight most often represents the non-profit organizations, fighting to close social and economic gaps. The Bard refers to industries important for their intrinsic value. Comedians, authors, musicians, and artists can all fall under the “Bard” class.
2. Design Your Character
There are two overarching parts to messaging: internal and external. “Design Your Character” deals with internal messaging. Through this process ,we will work to uncover your values, mission, vision, and organizational priorities. These will help you frame your outbound messaging in a consistent way.
3. Who will Join?
In role-playing games, Escort Missions are parts of the story where you have to escort a character in the game from point A to point B. Sounds easy enough, right? The trick is, this is usually an undeveloped character. They don’t know what you know, they can’t fight, they don’t know how to be stealthy–all they know is that they have a problem, and need to get somewhere else to solve that problem. They are basically helpless.
Escort missions are considered “the worst” by RPG aficionados because it can be difficult to guide a person through a journey that they don’t fully understand themselves.
But this is the essence of messaging.
In “Who Will Join,” we will take a look at the types of ideal customers or patrons you are “escorting” through the process of doing business with you. We'll make sure we identify all the things that will help you help them hit the “buy” button.
4. Build Your Inventory
“Build Your Inventory” refers to the external messaging that takes a potential customer (“Who Will Join?”) from “problem” to “resolution.” In a game, you might have a potion or an invisibility cloak or a wand. In the messaging world, we have taglines, short business statements, business summaries, etc. laid out so you can see your entire inventory at a glance. In short, this step gathers all the information you need to help a potential customer like, know, and trust you.
5. Embark on the Quest
Where many messaging frameworks fall short is that after you get the nice-looking document of essential information, you’re left wondering how to put it to use. That’s why we’ve developed the MQ Script Library. It contains an ever-expanding set of scripts for any marketing occasion, from social media ads, to emails, to video spots. There are even scripts for common side missions like “hosting an event” and “announcing job openings.”
This is a pretty high-level overview of a deep and comprehensive framework, but it’s a good start. The fact is that branding and media draw people into what you’re offering–but it’s ultimately the words that sell it–so it’s incredibly important to get right.
Messaging is the cornerstone of every piece of content you put out in the universe. If you want to make sure it reflects exactly what you’re trying to communicate–contact us about MessageQuest today.