Many marketing departments bring in sales people to help. Some review the websites of their competitors and others go to the statistical department as if their number crunching will have a great marketing message hidden within their spreadsheets.
Want to develop a great marketing message? Plan a workshop where you invite a control group consisting of your target customers. If you have ten segment markets, bring in customer from all ten segments. Within each segment have customers represented in each of your vertical markets to make your group as diverse as possible.
Put together an internal cross functional team of twelve people or less. Bring in sales, customer service, strategic marketing, marketing communications, product managers, product marketing, business development, segment marketing , and others who may add benefit to the group. Don't make this group to big or it will impede your ability to get focused feedback.
The workshop should be fun and interesting. No one wants to sit in a conference room and fill out questionnaires. Have product videos, demonstrations, role playing activities, and presenters who are upbeat and lively. Make it as interactive as possible so your control group is engaged and having fun. Develop games and exercises to uncover the most effective messaging based on their buying triggers and signals, expectations, and buying obstacles.
Throughout the workshop your team should be developing and testing consistent marketing message ideas with the control group. By the end, you should have a good grasp on what your messaging will be and focused on.
Don't let the workshop last longer than six hours and provide a top quality lunch for maximum effectiveness.