Producing a creative strategy that resonates with your target audience can be very difficult if you do not have extreme focus on your audience. It takes focus and a few solid organizational steps to get the right messaging strategy together. Developing a targeted and narrowed core audience for a brand is critical. Unless your product is equally desirable to all, a brand should speak to a specific target audience without speaking to the masses since delivering a message to ‘everyone’ will leave your creative strategy diluted and lost in a world of ad clutter. Messaging needs to be as customized and personalized for a consumer as possible, so it works.
A brand should define the parameters of a target audience, even if it is believed consumers outside of the narrowed target audience will purchase a product. Creative messaging must speak to a core consumer in order to be effective. In other words, a message created for a millennial will be very different than a message geared towards a baby boomer, and in order to drive your point home with the millennial you need to position a creative and media strategy that emotionally resonates with them. If you also want to hit baby boomers that should be treated as a secondary campaign.
A few of the important factors to review in your target audience are:
- Family Income
- Role within the family
- Level of Education
- When faced with a challenge where does your target consumer go to find resolution or solve a problem?
Once a target audience has been clearly defined the methods in solidifying your messaging can be navigated successfully.
- Understand your audience’s likes, dislikes or problems and their motivation.
- Know where your audience spends their majority of time and attention.
- Use storytelling techniques to create your compelling content.
Knowing where your core audience’s engagement resides, satisfies or resolves their issues is vital to understanding the appropriate creative content and media placement choices. Enacting analytical tools like surveys, focus groups or at the very least, reviewing the social media activity of your audience, is a worthwhile investment. These tools will help evaluate the activity of your core audience.
Following and tracking the core consumer along social media sites is also valuable, not only for potential media placement but also helps build a consumer profile. Perhaps your core audience are big Facebook and Linkedin fans but not so into the Instagram and Pinterest platforms. Focusing on the appropriate audience social sites will give you back end analytics that could aid in developing the right messaging.
What is the improvement to their life or problem you are trying to solve for your core consumer? There will always be external and internal issues, meaning external issues are visible to others, while internal problems are based on emotions. The main ‘character’ in your brand’s message should reflect the improvement, pain, or joy and find satisfaction in your creative strategy.
If you are advertising a headache remedy, then your character will be seen suffering from a headache but find happiness and health in taking your remedy. This scenario is relatable to a core consumer and speaks to the emotions of a headache sufferer which will hopefully inspire consumers to purchase your brand.
The character development must also reflect belief in your product. The character should represent full investment in your product. Figure out the most important and telling benefits you are trying to represent in your creative, make a list and pick the top 3. Then find hard data points to prove your product can provide resolution and satisfaction. Use these points to help develop a full picture of problem/resolution that again, speaks specifically to your core consumer.
After character development has been solidified the messaging needs to follow your core audience’s engagement habits. A brand should evaluate where core consumers spend most of their time and attention. This will paint a picture that will translate into a media mix, which could be a blend of TV, OTT, radio, pureplay radio, internet, email, social networking, podcasting, print, or Out-Of-Home options. There should always be a mix of media elements in order to cut through all the ad clutter and to hit your core audience from several different angles.
Your messaging and visual should remain consistent throughout all mediums, meaning if you have an Out-Of-Home billboard and a TV commercial, they look, sound, feel, and send the exact same message and be visually similar.
Compelling and inspiring content can be accomplished if these steps are thought through carefully and if research about your audience is absorbed into a brand’s strategy. Remember that narrowing your core consumer, following their trends and understanding the path to problem resolution is key. Try to focus on keeping a target audience within a 20-year age gap instead of blanketing your message to too many different people. Broad age demographics have become outdated because there is adequate data available these days to hone-in on a highly defined target audience and messaging that follows suit.
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