The first post in our audience profiling series outlined how to perfect the art of segmentation. The next step lies in creating your message.
Strategic messaging is nothing new, but more than ever, brands need to be sure what they’re saying will resonate with their target consumers, across channels and touchpoints.
Here, in the second part of our audience profiling series, we’ll demonstrate how to craft a message that converts.
What makes a great marketing message?
Every business needs a marketing message, whether they know it or not. When done right, it will get the attention of your target consumers, and inspire the trust and motivation they need to choose your brand over your competitors.
Your message is essential because it’s what makes meaningful connections with your target audience. But without knowing what a meaningful connection looks like for this audience, it’s impossible to craft a message that will stick.
A common mistake is making your message all about the product, rather than how the consumer will benefit from purchasing it. In strategic communications, the brand is well aware of the consumers’ perceptions and needs, and has the message to match.
Understanding these perceptions is where great messaging starts.
Not having a well-researched message based on absolute truth is no longer a viable option for marketers.
The digital arena is complex. It’s more consumer-centric. It’s more real-time. And what you put out there could make or break you.
This is why robust consumer data is playing a more important role than ever.
From data to insight
Consumer data that analyzes not only the behaviors of your target consumers, but their perceptions, attitudes and motivations, will give you the right foundation to create an impactful message.
This gives you the upper hand, so you know what to say.
But to reach the core universal truths that make a message resonate, it means turning this data into actionable insight. Here’s how.
1. Analyze current perceptions of your brand.
How are my target consumers responding to my messaging?
2. Validate the perceptions you’re trying to shift.
Does the data back up my assumptions?
3. Quantify these perceptions.
What are the actual figures I need to focus on?
4. Map this into a business opportunity.
How can this data help me to create an impactful message?
From insight to message
Any truly impactful marketing message begins with insight. This is the nugget of truth that tells you what to tap into, so its importance shouldn’t be underestimated.
Once the relevant insight has been harvested, it needs to be leveraged in order to give it meaning and turn it into an effective message.
Insight into your consumers’ behaviors and attitudes will enable you to keep them at the center of the message. Here’s how to use it to create the sort of communication they’re actually looking for.
1. Look at your segments.
Who am I targeting and what are their key characteristics and behaviors?
2. Identify the problems.
What issues are my target consumers facing and how can my product solve them?
3. Present your proof.
What are the results I’ve had so far? Can I incorporate brand success stories?
4. Find your niche.
How is my brand different from my competitors?
5. Craft your message.
How can I, as directly as possible, position my brand as the top choice for my target consumers?
Brands doing it well
The fast food giant has had its fair share of rumors claiming the origins of its produce were less than desirable.
Deep research into their target audience identified a knowledge vacuum where consumers were unsure what happened between the wholesome farm origins of McDonald’s food and the end product in restaurants.
The ensuing brand refresh picked up some of the more sensational myths surrounding the brand, and responded to them in whimsical and often playful ads, carefully poking fun at the rumors and challenging perceptions.
More consumers now say they believe McDonald’s has good-quality food and trust the brand, proving that taking a hands-on approach and tweaking your message to respond to negative rumors can pay off.
Even the biggest male fragrance brand in the world needs to adapt to changing perceptions.
In 2015, despite continued success, Axe identified a potential future problem: its brand message was old-fashioned and increasingly outdated, relying on traditional ideas of masculinity.
Research done by the brand birthed a new message that opposed the traditional masculinity it once advocated. In 2017, Axe collected popular Google searches beginning with “is it okay for guys…” to highlight the insecurities men face in regards to things like sexual experience, sexual orientation and gender roles.
With its new brand communications, Axe has managed to strike a chord by shining a spotlight on concerns that are prevalent among its core audience.
Lidl is a brand that knows the power of understanding perceptions.
Having uncovered the insight that most Brits still perceived the quality of their produce as low, their famous ‘Lidl Surprises’ campaign successfully turned this negative opinion on its head.
Inviting real-life consumers to visit their suppliers, the brand presented an authentic message based on in-depth data, and showed that audience-centric communication is key in order to resonate.
Next step: Driving engagement with insight.