It’s a common concern for any business: a target audience being inundated with messages and content from its brand and competitors. Recent research suggests that, on average, an individual is likely to be exposed to anywhere between 4,000 to 10,000 ads and message signals a day.
With all that noise, how can a brand stand out?
A leading marketing thinker, Jack Trout, once said that marketing is the battle of perceptions. And prying open the minds of a target audience is a critical step in this battle. It forms the basis of a winning marketing and communications strategy, in addition to shaping the overall digital marketing strategy.
In this article, we share 4-steps any business can take to win the battle of perceptions and develop a winning marketing strategy.
1. Audit current perceptions of your brand
It is not necessary to conduct an elaborate market research project to undertake this audit, although ideal at some stage.
For smaller businesses, analyzing current perceptions of a brand is possible with the help of social and digital marketing platforms. Setting up a monitoring system for social and digital media presence is a good starting point. From Google reviews to Facebooks posts by customers, a business can learn a lot about people’s perceptions of their brand.
At the same time, similarly, monitoring competitors can give a business a contextual basis to benchmark (and indeed compare against the competition) brand perceptions to identify opportunity and risk.
2. Determine the business and marketing worth of the desired brand perception
It has been said people hate to be sold to. They want to buy what they want, not what brands want them to buy. In creating the desired brand perception, it is important to keep this in mind: what we believe to be worthy or desirable may not be shared by our target audience. We risk misalignment.
One of the biggest marketing failures in history was in the launch of “New Coke” back in 1985. It showed how important it is to achieve alignment in a business’ objectives and the consumers’ want.
3. The driving attributes and values
The winning set of perceptions can be a collection of different attributes and values. For example, in associating a brand with “the service even our competitors talk about”, it might be based on the speed of service delivery, hospitability if the service agent and/or provider, personable attributes, the problem-solving nature of the service being delivered, as well as the efficiency in which it is delivered.
However, it can be near impossible to address each and every one of them in a single message proposition. There would be a need for some sort of pre-qualification to determine their relative importance.
For smaller businesses, a simple online survey amongst customers will be adequate.
4. Craft the winning message
This is the last step in the process. Interestingly most brands and businesses tend to start with it. But that would be akin to putting the cart before the horse.
As a rule, any business should consider at least 2 fo the aforementioned activities beforehand. They can be used to evaluate and identify the winning message.
The value of insights
Insights mitigate the risk of misalignment in any marketing strategy. To learn more about these 4-steps and get an understanding of how they could offer the basis of any successful growth strategy, speak to a consultant at vLinkD today.