Insight for SMEs: Finding the Right Marketing Message for your Audience

Arguably the most crucial part of a marketing campaign is the messaging it uses.

Why? Because no matter how amazing your campaign is, or what channels you use to promote it, if it doesn’t resonate with the consumers you’re trying to reach, it won’t work.

So how do you shape that perfect message?

Speak to the right people.

While the message itself is the key part of your campaign, it needs to reach the right consumers to have the impact you want.

In order to make sure you’re speaking to the right people, use deep consumer insight to:

  • Validate your targeting and find out more about your consumers and their brand preferences.
  • Segment them based on not only demographic data, but attitudes, behaviors and opinions.
  • Look at their online presence and the motivations behind their social channels of choice to determine where they spend their time and why.

Once you have this information, you can begin to craft a marketing message that originated from the consumers you’re looking to target, and is sure to be placed in front of the right eyes.

Know the value of tone.

But it’s not enough to know who to speak to, you have to know how to speak to them. Tone of voice is absolutely crucial to a marketing message, and should be based on truth.

Your tone should always reflect the people you’re speaking to.

And with deep consumer insight, you have all the information you need to nail down the language that will resonate with your target audience.

Use it to prove to consumers that you understand them completely, share their passions and attitudes, and can solve whatever issue or need they have.

Forget jargon and being witty – in today’s climate, consumers want brands to be authentic and as personalized as possible.

And when you know people in granular detail, you know how they want brands to communicate with them.

Get out of your ‘safe space’.

No one ever created something new and special by adhering to tradition.

And no one ever revolutionized their marketing by saying, ‘this is how we’ve always done things.’

SMEs have certain freedoms many larger establishments don’t, such as the opportunity to try out new ideas and seeing what actually works.

And when you have truly detailed market research to back up and generate your ideas, you already know they have potential – after all, your target consumers are telling you so.

Don’t be afraid to think outside the box and, once you have, look to the data to take an idea to its fullest potential.

Look past budget limitations.

A great marketing message is worth every penny.

And while a traditional campaign using billboards, TV spots and high-tech programmatic solutions might be costly, a hard-hitting marketing message can be borne out of pure creativity and the insight to back it up.

67% of UK SMEs did decide to increase their marketing budget in 2018, but that doesn’t mean you’ve got all you need to make the campaign of your dreams come to life.

Combining great ideas with deep insight will lead to unexpected opportunities, and enables you to look past budget limitations.

For example, if your research unearths that the majority of your target consumers spend their time on Instagram, you can focus your social presence on that channel and save your spend elsewhere.

It’s an optimized, hyper-targeted strategy like this that ensures your message is in the right place, at the right time.

Messages that Worked

While these campaigns may not be from small or medium-sized companies, they prove the power of a message that not only complements the brand, but resonates beyond simply getting products off shelves.

They show that the success of a marketing message doesn’t necessarily lie in a huge budget or years of tradition – it lies in knowing what your consumers will respond to, and why.

Always: Like a Girl

The message: Encouraging girls everywhere to embrace failure and keep going.

Why it worked: Research by the feminine hygiene brand found that, at puberty, 50% of girls feel paralyzed by the fear of failure, and 80% feel a social pressure to be perfect.

With girls and women as its core audience, the brand now champions a message of empowerment and authenticity to appeal to girls from all backgrounds, in multiple countries.

L’Oréal: The Beauty Squad

The message: Our social media influencers are authentic and genuine – just like you.

Why it worked: The beauty brand found that while influencer marketing was a key element of their strategy, investing in celebrity personalities was ringing hollow with young audiences.

Focusing instead on ‘real’ micro-influencers, it responded to consumers’ appreciation of more authentic brand experiences, advocating the brand through influencers its audience could truly relate to – and spending less money doing so.

REI: Opt Outside

The message: Don’t buy into consumerism – go out into nature and enjoy your spare time.

Why it worked: Bucking the tradition of focusing marketing efforts on enticing customers to its stores for Black Friday, U.S. outdoor clothing retailer, REI, opted for an empathetic strategy instead.

Choosing to close all its stores on the biggest retail day of the year, it encouraged its customers to spend the day outdoors instead, rather than joining the bargain queues.

The campaign embodied the brand’s deep understanding of its target customers, who would rather be hiking, walking or cycling than shopping, and its fearlessness in trying something not only different, but potentially risky.

Huggies: Leave No Baby Unhugged

The message: All babies need and have a right to physical contact.

Why it worked: Huggies, a challenger brand competing with the likes of diaper giant Pampers, turned to an emotionally-charged message to resonate.

Finding proof that hugs “help stabilize babies’ vital signs, build immune systems, ward off illness, and improve brain development”, the brand went on a mission to leave no baby unhugged.

The resulting campaign was carried out in hospitals, educating new mothers on the importance of skin-to-skin contact and ensuring that the hospitals had volunteer ‘huggers’ available for babies in need of them.

It proves the power of thinking outside the box and looking for success and awareness beyond your own products.