Now that you know “How Messaging Is Different Than Content and Conversations”, let’s review the difference between these two messaging styles.
As the visual below illustrates, persuasive messaging is “why” oriented. It aligns with and provides a clear, relevant, differentiated, and provable business objective-level answer to the primary decisions/questions in the buyer’s journey:
Persuasive Messaging: Primary Buying Decisions/Questions
- “Why should I consider your product?” for demand creation
- “Why should I meet with you?” for meeting creation
- “Why should I change from the status quo to a new solution?” for opportunity creation
- “Why should I buy this new solution from your company instead of your competitors?” for order creation
- “Why should I buy now?” for urgency creation
See persuasive messaging examples here.
Descriptive Messaging: Secondary Buying Decisions/Questions
Descriptive messaging is “what” and “how” oriented. It aligns with and provides a summary answer to the secondary buying decisions/questions in the buyer’s journey:
- What does the product do?
- How does it work?
- What features are included and optional?
- What does it cost?
- What are the key benefits?
This is not to say that the descriptive style is bad and the persuasive style is good. To communicate influentially, you must use both. The key takeaway is that most companies are overly invested in the descriptive style, and way under-invested in the persuasive style. Logically, you would want the opposite.
NEXT: Take the 6-Question Messaging Effectiveness Test to see if your customer communication is mostly descriptive or persuasive.
Persuasive messaging can be deployed into all customer messaging categories including: company, solution, platform, product, and segment. This Typical Customer Communications Model™ provides a visual summary of how most organizations communicate with customers.
Persuasive messaging can also be deployed into audience types beyond customers, such as channel partners, sales, research analysts, investors, and employees.