Are you getting through to your audience? Successful campaigns are still about the message
By George L. San Jose, President and Chief Creative Officer
Marketers are always searching for how and where to get the best ROI, and the answer is always the same: brands that develop creative insights aligned with consumer needs and expectations and allocate adequate resources to reach their target consumer will always achieve far better marketing success than those that don’t. I know the answer sounds simplistic…and it is.
The key lies in the message, the channel and the resources. The right message in the wrong channel – no matter how much money placed behind it – will always fall flat. It’s like placing a lamp under the table; the light would represent insightful creative, yet no one gets to see it. On the other hand, the right message in the right channel with the right media weight is like a beacon shining from a hilltop. So the pursuit of finding this right balance is really the approach for developing a winning strategy and accomplishing marketing success. Mastering this fine balance comes from experience.
The other critical component in a successful marketing equation is targeting effectively. In effect, investing against the real customers and not the marketer’s personal experience. There are too many retail and packaged goods professionals that year after year continue to market to the likes of themselves, or just as flawed, to the same old they knew from yesteryear.
Please research your consumer thoroughly and leave your belief system at home. I see too many disjointed communications strategies and they usually all have one thing in common: either the market demographics and psychographics have changed and aren’t being addressed by the marketer…or even worse, the unseasoned marketer has an obtuse impression of the customer in their mind so the fate of their brand is limited to the personal experience of the inexperienced.
Last week I was having lunch with one of our clients and approached the subject carefully to get an inside look as to what is currently happening on the client side. Wow, did I hit the jackpot. We’ll call her Mary. She is a senior marketing professional with twelve years experience in marketing and advertising and works in a company with a collaborative culture. “Getting peoples opinions about marketing strategy and creative never ceases to amaze me, everyone one has a different opinion and it is usually based on a personal preference and nothing related to market facts or experience. So I have learned to hear people’s opinions; but ultimately I make the decision based on sound research, or seek counsel from experienced individuals in the subject matter.”
These days we live in very dynamic and converging markets with highly sophisticated consumers who can be reached in so many ways. Connecting with a consumer does not mean a click or like, but by delivering a compelling and engaging brand story. What I have seen from today’s successful brands is that marketing leaders like Mary are like orchestra directors running their symphonies; not instrument players who only play the instrument they have mastered.
There is a demand for orchestra directors, the seasoned marketers who understand that the box is much bigger than their limited life experiences. It seems the time has come again when consumer reality will trump personal will and that is good for those of us who make a living in writing the music, promoting it to an audience…and sometimes getting a standing ovation when we do it right.