Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Muddy Messaging

A large company is currently running a series of ads on the television.  They're pretty bad.  For one they are 100% "Brand X" spots in which their only statement is that the competitor is "bad."  And for another, they're poorly recorded so that some of the actors' lines end up as mumbling.  

What is worse is that their message is remarkably muddy.  I do not know who the target audience is.  The actors involved portray conspicuously "bad" archetypes yet bitterly complain about the competitor, which is, as noted, "bad".  Does that mean that the poor folks buying service from the competitor are awful? (and undesirable?) or is it that even the competitors' base are too dumb to switch?---or, perhaps, are as dumb as the advertiser thinks its own customers are?  No matter which way I look at it, there is no obvious target in mind.

Advertising is expensive and every word, minute, and image counts.  There should be no question who is the intended audience nor how the advertiser will help that audience.  Anything else is a waste of good money.

Bottom Line:  How muddy is your message?  Is it obvious who you are having a conversation with? what you're inviting them to do? how you can help?  Solicit other opinions before committing money to a campaign.  Don't confuse "good" with "bad"!

Friday, October 6, 2017

The Power of Story

A recent conversation with a client illustrates the power of story in not only messaging but refining a target customer. 

The case involved marketing a health-focused product.  Our conversation began with a better understanding of a fairly vague target.  The client told her own story of becoming a customer of the product and it occurred to me that the story was much more useful than the client expected:  that is, while it was on the one hand a marvelous device for expressing the client's passion, warmth and energy and the product's virtue, it was also a means of connecting with the right target.  And in this case someone more or less exactly like the client. 

I invited the client to fill in the details of the point where the product changed the client's life and to think of speaking to those in the same life circumstances, as if a group of friends.  The story will become a valuable video in the client's messaging.

Bottom Line:  Having difficulty narrowing your focus to an ideal target customer?  Consider writing down your own story on how you came to offer your own particular product or service and then visualize who you're speaking to as concretely as possible.  You should begin to gain some very valuable perspective as well as juice up your own messaging!