Choose your message
then your media
Despite consumers' ever-shrinking attention spans, marketers now leave more channels to try to reach them. New media brings an almost daily flood of new tools to manage. And while consumers are happily embracing the next way to connect, marketers can be left feeling overwhelmed — and out of touch.
The challenge for brands is the same, just more daunting than ever: How can businesses stay top-of-mind in a world where mindshare is increasingly limited?
To clarify your marketing, start with some simple (but potentially difficult) questions. Is our brand still fresh? Do we stand out amongst our competitors? Are we connecting with the consumer on multiple levels? Are we talking with them or at them? And ultimately, are they buying our goods or services?
Your business probably has a vision and a mission statement. But the rallying cries of many brands are never heard outside the company walls. To bridge that gap, your business needs a clear positioning statement. Rather than trying to be all things to all consumers, positioning helps brands become the only thing to the right consumers. It takes brand self-awareness and a good deal of trust in the notion of an ideal consumer. It takes laser-focus. It often means alienating some buyers who probably weren’t a good fit in the first place. And for businesses that can effectively position themselves in their markets, it absolutely works.
Riches in niches
As consumers narrow their interests, they expect their favorite brands to do the same. More and more often, the lines between segments are being defined by shared attitudes than mere demographics. For some brands, that means aligning themselves with fewer customers — as opposed to broadening their stance or their offerings. A brand that can best meet the needs of a highly specific target group can win instant loyalty — and even compensate for lack of mass appeal or volume by charging a premium price.
You control the channels
With a clear understanding of your brand and your audience, you can choose the most effective media to communicate your message. It’s still a balancing act. But now, its between elements you can manage and measure — your objectives, your resources and your customers’ desires.
Don’t react; respond
Anyone who talks about one “perfect” medium is missing the boat. For most brands, there’s a time to Tweet and a time to send snail mail. Each tool has its own potential, and the best brands know how to manage the right mix.
Now more than ever, your brand must be clear about who it is, what it offers and why that matters to its constituents. The good news: consumers will always respond to a simple, clear and direct brand promise. If they find your brand lives up to that promise, they’ll stick with you. At the very least, it keeps them from having to make another decision. But when your brand can exceed expectations, customers become fans — and then ambassadors. And that advocacy is worth more than the sum total of fans, followers, impressions or forwards.
At MasonBaronet, we’ve developed a process called OnPurpose that helps you define your brand and your audience. Armed with that insight, we help you build a marketing mix that plays to your strengths — and meets your constituents exactly where they live.