Marketing Messages – Some Harsh Truths

If you’re not selling as much as you used to or sales have petered out, your marketing messages are no good. I know, it’s hard to hear – and it’s supposed to be. This is a wake-up call.

Sure, we could blame it on the market or customers being more frugal with their hard earned dollars. But the truth is you can sell in any climate to anyone if your marketing messages are on-point.

What I mean by on-point is this: are they focused on your target market? Is your audience receiving these messages regularly and through a variety of mediums? And finally is the content of your marketing messages high quality and relevant? If you can’t tick all three, then you may as well be shouting your marketing messages down a well with your fingers in your ears.

Are your Marketing Messages focused?

In 2013, Dove launched their ‘Real Beauty Sketches’ campaign to prove to women that they are more beautiful than they think. Knowing that only 4% of women worldwide consider themselves beautiful, Dove used this to create a powerful message that resonated with their audience. This message is an extension of Dove’s Real Beauty campaign, and the video became one of the most shared videos of all time.

Are your Marketing Messages consistent?

When Motorola launched their ultra customisable Moto X smartphone, their message was simple: this is a smartphone that can be customised to match your personality. The customisation was the key and that’s what they pushed through outdoor initiatives like bus shelters and storefronts that changed colour to match the clothing of the viewer. They even created an interactive print ad that allowed readers to change the colour of the phone on the page using polycarbonate paper and LED light pipes.

Are your Marketing Messages of high quality?

You don’t need a million dollar budget to create highly relevant, high quality content. Kit Cosmetics keep note of customer purchases and email them around the time those purchases are likely to run out. For example, if you purchase a 50g tub of face moisturiser, they know it has a three month lifespan and will email you similar products in three months time. Simple, yet highly effective.

It’s no longer enough for you to spend an hour banging out a sales email on a Monday morning, firing it out on a Tuesday and expecting results on the Wednesday. You need to convince your audience what you’re promoting is worth their time, attention and most importantly of all, their money. Here’s the kicker: all that takes time.

On average, a person will need at least seven exposures to a business’ marketing messages before taking action. The more your target audience is exposed to your message, the more they will recognise it. It’s this recognition which builds familiarity, which in turn builds trust. Once they trust you, they will be open to being sold to.

Multiple exposures to marketing messages – quality marketing messages – aren’t just a pleasantry, they’re a necessity. A lone, well-worded email simply won’t cut it. Your audience needs to see your marketing messages everywhere. In bite sized pieces of information on social media, in downloadable PDFs that offer them value & insight, in banner ads, radio ads, from their neighbour’s mouth – everywhere.

Your target audience isn’t trying to make your life difficult – they are expecting you to work hard for their loyalty. If you can create great, value-adding content that regularly appears in, and is relevant to, their situation you will have them. Remember, you have to give to get.

Now take a few minute, make yourself a cup of coffee and ask yourself: what marketing messages are you sending out? Are they consistent? Are they of high quality or value? And finally, are they appearing everywhere they could be?

– Lachy

Winning The Ad Super Bowl

Sometimes when I’m lazing in front of the telly, I find myself oddly drawn to the strangest of ads… ads that have absolutely nothing to do with the product, but linger long after a supermarket promotes their latest specials or some chap explains how his painkillers actually target pain. This begs the question: “how relevant is relevance?” How important is it to make an ad that actually has something to do with the product? If Super Bowl XLVIII is anything to go by, it’s nowhere near as important as how your ad makes people feel.Puppy Love

The Super Bowl is the single most viewed event on the planet. Super Bowl XLVIII was viewed by hundreds of millions watching across the globe. That’s a goldmine for companies looking to get their brand out to the most massive of mass audiences. But with 30 seconds of airtime costing US$4 million, you almost have to sell a goldmine too. So what do these companies and their ad agencies come up with to get a return on their sizeable investment?

Forget sex sells. Cute sells.

USA Today’s Ad Meter – found that Budweiser’s Puppy Love ad was the consumer favourite. It’s the story of a puppy at a breeder’s farm who befriends a horse, to the point where the horses prevent that puppy’s adoption to keep the little Labrador with them. It’s beautifully shot, the animals are amazingly well trained, and it tells a heartwarming story with a happy ending – a tale of friendship that transcends species. It also has absolutely nothing to do with beer. But Budweiser doesn’t care.

They care that their story made hundreds of millions feel warm and fuzzy inside on that day, as well as millions more on YouTube (it has over 45 million views there). They care that their brand is associated with happiness, the importance of friendship and the joy that comes with being “best buds”. And they care that when people are browsing at the bottle shop, hundreds of millions will think of that ad with the cute puppies and horses, and make a beeline to a carton of Budweiser.

Next time you’re coming up with a campaign, think carefully not just about your product, but about the feelings you want your brand to be associated with. The pay off could be substantial!

– Magnus