Mission: What are you trying to achieve?
What you’re trying to achieve with your marketing can vary based on the business type and the end results you want. For example, a company selling widgets may want to increase sales by 25% over the next year. Or, they may want to create more awareness about their product to “spread the news” about the widgets. Thus creating a base of consumers who are familiar with the product and ultimately purchases the product and become “ambassadors” for the widgets, spreading the news to their friends. The goal of a service business may be to build relationships with potential clients, so that when a decision needs to be made, the clients will not only choose that company, but will stay with them for a long time. Or, they may want to educate clients about the services they offer and why those services are useful, or how they compare to competitors’ service offerings.
According to Nigel Hollis, marketing’s mission is to “make it meaningfully different.” How does your product or service compare to others on the market? What is your differentiator? How can you raise awareness (and sales) by a) enhancing the differences in what you offer and b) sharing that news with potential buyers? The other part of this equation is keeping your product or service salient in the minds of consumers—making sure that they remember what you offer, that your business, your product comes to mind first when they’re making a decision.
Dominos Pizza recently came out with a new campaign to raise awareness about their full line of products. They changed their name to Dominos and started running ads showing a wider array of menu items, and explaining that they changed their name because they serve more than just pizza. The Dominos mission: to let people know about the variety of foods on their menu.
Clarifying what the marketing mission is opens the door to choosing the marketing channels that will be used, and in crafting the message that will allow the mission to be carried out. Simple and important. What’s your mission?
Message: What do you want to say to your market?
The message is more than telling your market that you and your product or service exist. It’s answering the question of why they should care, what’s in it for them? How does this particular product or service fit into their lives and benefit them? And, how can you use content to answer these questions for your customers? There are two approaches outlined by David Bell, one is rational and one is emotional. Tugging at the logical or tugging at the heart strings.
- Spokesperson—a spokesperson can outline the benefits of a product or service to viewers, thus encouraging them to purchase. Famous people, well-known cartoons, even famous animals can represent a product. Check out this video for an example employing Mr. Ed, the talking horse:
- Testimonial—customer testimonials, whether anonymous or indicating the name of the customer, can go a long way in building trust in a brand. Trying a new product or service can be a challenge and financial commitment and it’s helpful to hear from others who had success with it. This moves the “unknown” closer to the sphere of the “known”.
- Comparative advertising—comparing a product or service to those of the competitors, outlining the benefits of yours and the weaknesses of theirs, can be an effective communication. But be prepared, the competitor may respond publicly.
- Demonstration—showing how to use a product increases knowledge of how to use it and hopefully interest in using it. Check out the iFetch video here — it certainly looks like fun!
- Negative emotions—think cigarette ads, safety belt ads, and political ads. While not pleasant to watch or listen to, these messages are powerful and can be effective in getting people to take action in the way they suggest. There is a ‘science’ to using negative ads though, and frequency and intensity play a part in how well they work, or if they don’t work at all. http://psychcentral.com/news/2012/10/23/are-negative-campaign-ads-effective/46488.html
- Positive emotions—delivering messages that call to positive emotions is another way to bring the heart into a product or service brand. It’s easy to see when watching ads like this one from the 2015 Super Bowl depicting images of “dads” for Dove’s Men + Care products why positive emotions are powerful in delivering a marketing message:
When crafting your message, know your market well so you can pay attention to what you want to say about your product, be clear and simplify the language that you use, make it call out to the customers’ needs and/or desires, and help it resonate with them on a logical or emotional level.