“The secret of getting ahead is getting started. The secret of getting started is breaking your complex, overwhelming tasks into small manageable tasks, and then starting on the first one." – Mark Twain
For B2B marketing, I rely on two organizational frameworks that that get me started on a video project and keep me focused on the right message and campaign objectives.
During my project kick-off meeting, I use a creative brief outline to guide the discussion and set clear expectations for me, the creative team and the requestor – i.e. the client. Depending on the size and complexity of the current project, I choose the most appropriate style of brief—from basic to complex. The framework is the same in that it identifies the audience, the key message and the approval process. By systematizing the entire process, I’m more likely to stay on message, on time, and on budget. Plus, it sets the right expectations among the team right from the start.
Problem/Feature/Advantage/Benefit (PFAB) Framework:
After I identify my audience in the creative brief, I turn to Problem/Feature/Advantage/Benefit framework that guides me through the process of defining and focusing my message. Here’s how it works:
Problem: At this step, I research, define, and focus on my audience’s main concerns, issues and pain points. This may involve talking to experienced sales reps and partners and getting information from relevant associations and social media networks. If you’ve created buyer personas for the target audience, you may have this material already.
Feature: Next, I identify the specific product/service feature we offer that solves each problem, being as specific as possible.
Advantage: Then I step beyond identifying the feature that addresses the problem and focus on how the feature will solve the problem in concrete terms. Here’s where I differentiate Brainshark from other alternatives.
Benefit: In the last step, I list the high-level benefits. Often, they’ll fall into the categories of, “saves time, increases productivity, increases revenues.”
As an example, here’s an excerpt of the PFAB I used for a recent B2B marketing video presentation aimed at a marketing audience.
Video production is costly, time consuming and requires a lot of resources including specialized expertise
Brainshark video presentation created with documents and videos that you already have
So easy to use that any business professional can quickly create a video presentation
Saves time, money
People are inundated with messages, how do I get and keep their attention?
Brainshark video presentations
Provide communications in a dynamic format – one that people prefer and find most convenient
Higher response rates – increased revenues
We need to increase the volume of our content, but our resources can't keep up with the demand
Brainshark presentations with low threshold to creating new content, allowing guest authoring
People across the organization, including subject matter experts, can create their own content
Save time and money,
To keep my message clear and focused, I choose up to 3 problems from my list. Otherwise, I’ve found that my message can get muddied or overly complex. For a more product-focused presentation, I’ll give more details in the features and describe the advantages and benefits of each feature. Otherwise, I’ll concentrate on just the advantages and benefits.
So that’s it. I now have a solid outline to start writing my script.
And now you know my secret for getting ahead by getting started.
Much appreciation goes out to Christopher Rogers, my talented colleague at Kenexa, who introduced me to the PFAB framework.
Do you have a tried and true approach to kick off your content marketing projects? We’d love to hear about it and share it with our readers.