How to Start Strategizing for Your Marketing Message and Campaign

There are many components to successful advertising and marketing messages, but the most important is strategy.

With all the clutter and noise in the marketing landscape, it’s more important than ever for companies to have a keen strategic focus behind every marketing message they send. You need to have a rationale for each message – who are we trying to reach, and what are the results that we’re trying to achieve?

It’s not enough to take a scattershot approach. There are too many undisciplined ads out there that are seemingly trying to get laughs or drive up YouTube views, but that aren’t actually connected to the strategic underpinnings of what the brand is about and what its customers want to buy.

Here are a few key questions to consider for any marketing or sales message:

  • What are we trying to accomplish? “Boost sales” is not always the answer. What if you want to reward loyal customers, or improve awareness, or drive traffic for a one-day speciale event? There are many possible goals for any particular marketing message, but it’s important to be clear about which goals you’re aiming for – before you spend time and money on developing a message.
  • Who are we talking to? Not every ad is for everyone. Even a big budget Super Bowl ad needs to have a certain audience in mind – “everyone” is not an option. Are you targeting males age 18-35? Older married couples age 55 and up? Women age 24-39? What do you know about the demographics and psychological profile of the audience? What do they want? What can your brand and your product help them achieve?
  • How does this message connect to the brand? Every marketing message should stay true to the overall picture of your brand and your company. The strongest brands have a consistent look and feel – if you see an ad for Nike, you often know it’s a Nike ad even with the first glance of the ad. Just like certain musicians have signature sounds, strong brands have signature styles.
  • How does this message fit with our overall plan? Marketing messages should not be created in a vacuum – you need to have an overall communications plan that outlines your key audiences, objectives, strategies and tactics.
  • How will we know if it works? It’s increasingly possible to measure the results of every marketing message we send – whether it’s directing prospects to call a certain 800 number or visit a certain website. Marketing no longer has to be a guessing game or a shot in the dark.(Google Analytics Tool is great for keeping track)
  • What are we going to do if it doesn’t work? What is the backup plan in case the message doesn’t get the results you want?Are you prepared to test a few different types of message? Send different versions to different audiences? (Double-Blind Marketing Research is a must)
  • What happens if it works “too” well? Are you prepared for an avalanche of new business and new prospects? What if the phone starts ringing off the hook? (This is a great problem to have, but it’s still worth planning for.) And who could forget whenKFC had to cancel grilled chicken orders after Oprah advertised their grilled chicken deal on her show.

Every marketing message requires time, planning and diligence. It’s not just about being clever with words and savvy about customers, it’s about having a disciplined, thorough process to connect the right messages with the right audiences.

Don’t Forget About Your Competitive Advantages in Your Marketing Campaign

Smart Advantage guides you to uncover, craft, and communicate your Competitive Advantages.  Companies we’ve worked with on our full process the past 2 years (since the start of the recession) have experienced an increase in sales of at least 10% in the first year.  The majority have experienced much more, but to be conservative, 10% is an amount we feel any company can achieve.  That 10% would drop predominantly to your bottom line.  Depending on your current revenue, the ROI with Smart Advantage would exceed 100% (slightly better than what you can expect from an investment in Wall Street).

What is your Competitive Advantage?

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