The Bait Needs to Match the Catch

A regional company’s ad campaign only delivers if the bait matches the catch and cast into the right water

You don’t catch many trout in the ocean, and you don’t go fishing for marlin in a stream! And, even if you could, you don’t catch much without the right bait!
What the heck is he talking about?

I’m talking about the relevancy of how even properly crafted creative is only effective when displayed in the right outlet.

I was meeting with a perspective client and they asked if I had any media strategies that I could offer them. I had none because they hadn’t yet explained who their demo was, what their budget was and what their new creative said.

So, we began discussing the progress they were having with their creative agency and how their new creative was coming along. They’re a regional billion-dollar organization that has basically never advertised and have very little name recognition, even though they have been in business for more than a century.

They want to take that next step up and they realize that new initiatives are going to be necessary if they intend to build awareness and their size. I began to ask about the length and time of their plan and how they saw their campaign evolving.

They’re working on a 3 – 5-year plan, with the first year being a brand awareness campaign, the second year with emphasis on small business enrollment and a third year concentrating on attracting younger consumers. However, they were only working on launch creative and hadn’t thought about their second and third year creative nor their “haves” vs. their “wants”.

The “haves” are the customers who they already have that keep their lights on. The “wants” are the new customers they want to attract, and in this case, they are two different groups. Their launch creative will need to attract the “wants” but better not alienate the “haves” or they will only be trading customers, not adding new ones. This is going to be somewhat tricky but possible.

However, as we moved on to discuss the next few years, they hadn’t considered the common threads they will need to weave into the launch creative so that they can continue to evolve their message into their specific demo branding in years two, three and beyond. This is a very important consideration since consumer confusion is like death by a thousand cuts.

If they don’t consider message consistency, chances are they will create mixed messages which could confuse their audience. This mistake is made quite often and is counter – productive.

For regional companies, especially those that are just beginning to advertise, they must have a multi-year plan, not a single year. However, everything including their creative, their media strategy and goal metrics must be charted year by year and all must be clearly considered before they begin. It’s not easy but it’s worth the effort.

In addition, they must consider that the creative necessary to retain their “haves” business may mean a different message than their “wants” message and both may need to be placed in different media outlets, because the bait needs to match the catch!

Because while it’s possible to create a single message that speaks to their existing older consumer, a new business consumer and a younger consumer, it’s surely won’t be easy, and the chances they’ll accomplish that aren’t very good. However interestingly enough, this organization is actually a good fit for all three consumer groups, if they can get all three groups’ attention.

When regional companies begin their media journey, they need to remember that typically one size creative doesn’t fit all, unless their audiences are all one size. And, equally as important is their media needs will not be either.
Make sure you have good agency partners. Ones that understand what they’re fishing for, where they should cast their rod and what lure they need to use.

Author: Frank Gussoni

President & Founder of A3 media. We're Type A. We transform media from an expense into a smart investment.