Want to make your mark in the fast-growing Internet of Things market? Don’t forget to market your service or product if you want success. And here are some recommendations on a marketing strategy from the IoT Marketer.

“IoT Marketing … Starts with the Message,” writes Sue O’Keefe, chief content officer at Atlanta-based Calysto, which offers the IoT Marketer blog.

“Don’t have a Core Messaging Document? Your PR firm should be able to work with you to develop one,” O’Keefe says.

Here are six key questions you need to answer:

  • What is our unique value proposition? This is by far the hardest question to answer. Not only do you have to articulate your differentiators, but you have to be able to pass the “so what?” test. Keep asking that question to everything you write down until you can answer it with a few sentences that truly differentiate your company. Be warned, this isn’t a 15-minute exercise.
  • What are the key benefits to our customers? This is the second-hardest question to answer. Many people will automatically point to product features, but product features do not always translate to benefits. Ask yourself how your customers actually benefit from a product such as yours. It might be time, money, efficiency, results—whatever the benefits are, make sure you list (and quickly explain) them all.
  • What do we do? No, seriously, tell me what your company does. This is the elevator pitch and it should succinctly explain in 30 seconds what your company does so the average person can understand it.
  • Who are we? (a.k.a. the Boilerplate) This is take two of the elevator pitch, but instead of high-level elevator pitch language, you’re using language that tells the who, what, when, where, how and why of your company. This is the paragraph you see at the bottom of press releases to describe your company. It’s also great to use this language on the About Us section of your website. Media or analysts that are looking for a way to describe your company in an article do not always contact you directly. Give them a really good 7-10 word descriptor of your company. This can be used as the first sentence of your boilerplate.
  • Who are our customers? These can be both current and aspirational customers, but keep in mind that you need to be talking to each of these customers in your messaging. These “buyer’s personas” will help you talk to multiple layers of your target customers.
  • Who are our competitors, and how are we different? Last, but not least, you need to differentiate your IoT company from your competition. We have had plenty of clients who have successfully differentiated their products which may have been second, third or fourth to market. We helped them dig down to find their unique characteristics that separated them from their competitors. They were able to answer the question “So how are you different from Company A?” through their Core Messaging work.

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