Messaging Strategy vs Marketing Strategy – What’s the Difference?

February 6, 2022

Wondering what the heck the difference is between a messaging strategy and a marketing strategy?

Jump in line, cause you aren’t alone, friend. These two phrases can get thrown around a lot, especially in the online marketing world, and it’s easy to become confused about both. Read on to get a clear picture of exactly what a messaging strategy is versus what a marketing strategy is.

“Aren’t they the same thing?”

“How are they any different?”

“I don’t need messaging help – I need marketing help.”

I’ve heard all of these phrases from potential clientfriends when first inquiring with us, and every single time, I want to very lovingly shake their tired shoulders and say “No, no, no!!! Here, sit down, here’s a cup of tea, let me explain.”

Because in short, there’s a huge difference between your messaging and your marketing.

Messaging is HOW you talk about your business and products.

Marketing is the act of promoting your business.


It’s easy to think that you don’t necessarily need a messaging strategy and all you need is a solid marketing plan. I get it – you’re hungry and ready to grow, to land more wholesale clients, to see that Shopify dashboard gleaming with higher daily sales counts.

You think you need the best Instagram marketing strategy for product-based businesses or the best Pinterest marketing plan or the best name-your-platform marketing strategy.

But really, without the right messaging strategy first, even the best marketing won’t help you grow as quickly, as easily, or as, for lack of a better word, authentically.

A MESSAGING STRATEGY IS THE FOUNDATION OF YOUR BRAND

It’s all of the invisible pieces underneath the hardwood floors that make everything beautiful.

When you’re building a new home, before you can begin all of the pretty things, first you dig out the space where your foundation will go and you prepare the ground.

Then you have to build your foundation frame. And then the rebar goes down.

And then, at last, the concrete can be poured, filling in all of the areas you mapped out for your foundation, every last millimeter of space.

Finally, you have your foundation. Now let the building and the growing and the happy house making begin.

This is exactly how a strong messaging strategy acts.

Your messaging strategy is the foundation of your marketing strategy.

It’s the brand ethos, the beliefs you stand for and the beliefs your customers care about, It’s the way you speak about and write about your products and your business. It’s the language you use to connect with the right customer’s and how you write product descriptions that actually sell your items and how you show up on Instagram with a caption that gets their attention and how you write engaging subject lines for your email newsletters that actually have your customer’s opening your emails. It’s how you connect and how you convert. It’s how you create a successful marketing plan.

Your messaging strategy is your guiding light and informs all of your marketing strategy.

YOUR MARKETING STRATEGY BRINGS ALL THE PRETTY FORTH

The fun parts of building a home, of making it yours, of making it beautiful, can only come AFTER the foundation has been poured and the house has been framed in.

The exact same process applies to your marketing strategy.

Without that foundation and guiding light of the right messaging strategy, it’s extremely difficult to create a marketing strategy that actually makes a difference in your growth.

It’s easy to spin your wheels on Instagram all day, taking hours to create posts and write captions, only to get literally no where.

Without the messaging strategy to point you in the right direction, the marketing you attempt just becomes noise to your customers. It’s empty, takes you loads of time to create, and doesn’t create new customers or sales.

But when you approach your marketing strategy from that solid foundation of a messaging strategy, you instantly know where you should be showing up and how.

You know what content to create for Instagram. You know how to write a caption that will actually stop your customers scroll. You know what photos or videos to utilize that will get their attention (yes, a messaging strategy even helps with and informs your visuals).

The headlines and banners and product descriptions on your website become clearer.

The type of email newsletters you should be sending become so obvious to you.

Where your customer hangs out at (whether virtually or in real life) and the things she cares about and what motivates her to buy and why – all of this becomes clear, and easy to market around, when your messaging is solid.

Marketing is fun and shiny and has lots of room for play and experimentation – but it’s NOT the secret ingredient that everyone knows about but you. Messaging is.

It’s very difficult to have a wildly successful business without BOTH a true-to-you messaging AND marketing strategy. One is the foundation, the other is the pretty. Both are needed. Both work together to knock the socks off your customers.


Voila – and there we are: the difference between a messaging strategy and a marketing strategy and why you need both.

Be sure to save this article to return to again, and let me know if it was helpful!

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