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Buyer's Guide

How Is Persuasive Messaging Different From Descriptive Messaging?


In business marketing, messaging is a summary answer to the prospective customer’s core (primary and secondary) buying questions – the key points that must be communicated to convince a person to engage and buy. Messaging is integrated into content via copywriting and the creative process and integrated into sales conversations by way of the communicator.


As shown in the above visual, the two styles of messaging are descriptive and persuasive. Descriptive messaging provides a summary answer to the target audience’s “what” and “how” questions. Persuasive messaging provides summary answers to the target audience’s “why” questions. To communicate influentially, you must use both descriptive and persuasive messaging.

The primary messaging audiences are customers, channel partners, sales, research analysts, investors, and employees. Customer messaging categories can include: company, solution, platform, product, and segment. The Customer Communications Model provides a visual summary of how most organizations communicate with customers.

Example: Persuasive Versus Descriptive Customer Messaging

Persuasive product messaging provides clear, relevant, differentiated, and provable business language answers to the buyer’s primary buying 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

These “money questions” are at the heart of every prospective customer communication that Marketing and Sales must persuasively answer to convince a person to engage and buy.

Persuasive messaging is deployed in all customer messaging categories:

  • Company – Why should I do business with your company?
  • Solution – Why should I buy your solution?
  • Platform – Why should I buy your platform?
  • Product – Why should I buy your product?
  • Segment – Why should I buy your offering for my application?

Descriptive Customer Messaging

Descriptive product messaging typically provides a wordy, general, generic, and/or anecdotal answer to the buyer’s secondary buying questions:

  • What does the product do?
  • How does it work?
  • What features are included/optional?
  • What are the key benefits?

Descriptive messaging is also deployed into all customer messaging categories.

Ultimately, for your customer communications to be more influential, they must include both persuasive and descriptive messaging, with the emphasis on persuasive.



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