Market Research, Strategic Planning Make The Difference
As you know, not all advertising and outreach campaigns are successful. Failure represents opportunity cost and a major expense. Failed efforts harm your brand, while costing market share and support. Most of these costly failures are a result of poor strategic planning and a desire to cut corners and costs.
To avoid these catastrophic marketing failures, we offer some insight into a proven process that can make your marketing plans much more cost-effective. Effective creative and copywriting is dependent on strategic planning and market research. Without it, you’re shooting in the dark.
Strategic Planning: Do you have a marketing plan? Is it current? Without a strategic plan, it is easy to get lost in the marketing process. Be sure to break objectives down by revenue source and break the strategies down by market segment.
Market Research: How long has it been since you have conducted market research among prospects, customers and lost customers? Understanding your market is a critical success factor. What are the key market segments? Who is the prime prospect within each segment? What problems can you solve for this person?
Message Map: Make a list of the key points that each market segment needs to hear in order to be informed and influenced. Who needs to hear what? Market segmentation and personalization is a critical success factor.
Do you have the information to position your solution and pitch by segment? Once you fill out your message map, you can develop creative strategies that will be on target.
Copywriting Tips: Before going too far, be sure to consider the mediums at hand. Some will be short, such as billboards. Other mediums will be more in depth, including print ads and websites. Know the media and its audience and pitch accordingly.
Don’t let creative drive the message. The message should drive creative. Don’t try to say everything in each ad, speech, etc. Think campaign not one-shots. Don’t overlook the power of testimonials from customers, members, legislators and other stakeholders. Don’t forget the power of statistics and visuals that support your points. In the world of advertising and stakeholder communications, the right picture is worth more than a 1,000 words.
Remember, people are rarely seeking out your information, so you are being intrusive. You must be polite, aggressive and brief. You must stop prospects fast and gain their interest before you can pitch them. If you fail to capture their attention, you have lost the opportunity.
When you are able to stop a reader, viewer or listener, your copy must build interest and desire. Now you can talk about features, advantages and benefits. You can build up to your call to action. In the digital age, be sure to refer everyone to your website and social media accounts for more information.
When possible, set up testing systems so that you can test the effectiveness of variables within your advertisements. These A-B tests will help refine your communications for maximum impact.
Of course, you must adhere to your organization’s brand management as you develop each new campaign. Everything that the organization says and does, impacts its brand. Make sure that you are positioning your company as the leader, the voice of reason and the solution of choice.