Create better content and messaging by starting with the end in mind

Backward-engineering content and messaging refer to my approach to creating and deploying content along the client acquisition journey that aims at removing inconsistencies and information gaps.

As you sequentially progress from the first touch-points of a brand, the complexity of content increases. It usually starts with a logo, then the corporate design and typography. Next, we see the social media posts, mood videos, brochures, websites etc. As we progress further, product information sheets and standard presentations come into play, often complemented by publications, whitepapers and the like.

When clients show continued interest in our offering, they are exposed to customized presentations, detailed product specifications, pricing calculations. The proposal stage may require them to digest a formal response to a Request for Proposal, and later, contracts.

The whole process is rarely smooth. It often results in information gaps as the creators and originators of the respective pieces of content change. Brand and PR agencies, sales colleagues, internal marketers, product developers, risk managers, legal & compliance experts all focus on different aspects.

Here’s where the “backward-engineering” of content comes into play:

My approach at antic.com is to start with the most technical, data-driven aspects of an offering, and then to systematically explore and define the messaging implications for the preceding stage in the client acquisition journey. I repeat that process until I arrive at the very first touch-points of a brand.

The result is clarity of purpose, consistency of message, and the ability to easily pull supporting data and information for every claim one makes early on in a client interaction. Even more importantly, it provides clear indicators which activities to prioritize over others.