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Marketing Messaging 101

  1. THREE INITIAL COMPONENTS Before you plan anything , announce anything , or write anything: • Develop a positioning statement • Define Buy Involvement Audience • Develop a message map
  2. THE POSITIONING STATEMENT • An image or identity in the minds of your target market for: • The organization • Product • Brand • Contingent upon identifying and communicating a brand’s uniqueness, differentiation and verifiable value. • “Me too” brand positioning contradicts the notion of differentiation and should be AVOIDED at all cost
  3. POSITIONING STATEMENT Brand Positioning process involves: 1. Identifying business’s direct competition 2. Understand how each competitor positions their business and products 3. Identify current positioning 4. Compare to competitors positioning and identify viable areas for differentiation 5. Identify customer’s need and value received from products in your segment 6. Develop a distinctive, differentiating and value-based positioning concept Creating a positioning statement with key messages and customer value propositions to be used for communications development across the variety of target audience touch points (advertising, media, PR, website, etc.)
  4. POSITIONING STATEMENT Product Positioning process involves: • Define the market in which the product competes (who are relevant buyers) • Identify the attributes (dimensions) that define product space • Collect information from a sample customers about their perceptions of each product on the relevant attributes. • Determine each product’s share of mind • Determine the target market’s preferred combination of attributes (ideal vector) • Examine the fit between the position of your product and the position of the ideal vector
  5. POSITIONING STATEMENT Outline: • For … (target customer/person – not market) • who … (statement of need or opportunity) • The … (product, brand, or company name) • is a …(product category or market segment) • that … (statement of key benefit – compelling reason to buy). • Unlike … (primary competitive products or alternatives), • our product … (statement of primary differentiation).
  6. POSITIONING STATEMENT Process in defining positioning: • Organize a few working sessions – include marketing, communications, sales, those who know market and needs of target customers) • Use powerful verbs and adjectives that resonate and differentiate • Align product with strategic objectives of target customer • Don’t stop here. This will improve over time with each new iteration.
  7. BUY INVOLVEMENT – UNDERSTANDING YOUR CUSTOMERS • How much time, money, ideas, energy and other resources customer tries to use in order to buy the product. • Two types of customer involvement: • High involvement (rational or emotional) – buyer is prepared to spend considerable time and effort in searching • Low involvement – products bought frequently and with minimal thought and effort. They are not of vital concern nor have any great impact on consumer’s lifestyle. • This is a range and not one or the other and can change over time or circumstances • Initial choice of a product may be high involvement; but once they make the choice to buy a brand any repurchase of that brand would be low involvement. • Impulse buys would be low involvement • Your task is to determine how the majority of your target market relate to the purchases of the particular product or service
  8. BUY INVOLVEMENT High Involvement / Rational • Includes expensive business purchases, anything relating to technological infrastructure, office location and lease, company health insurance • On consumer side – tend to be linked to high cost and includes home, car, major appliances. These can also vary significantly on the rational/emotional scale from individual to individual • For both B2C and B2B markets, advertising for high involvement/rational purchases tend to be copy driven with clear explanations of features and benefits. • You can also add some emotional aspects to the rational buy decision with some success.
  9. BUY INVOLVEMENT High Involvement / Emotional • Business purchases in this category include office design, advertising, and perhaps hiring of certain employees. • For individuals, purchases include jewelry, weddings, holiday travel plans and in some cases homes, cars, etc. These purchases vary depending on culture, person and how much purchasing power the individual has. • Advertising in this category tends to focus on visual and emotional appeals. Give people visual details with music.
  10. BUY INVOLVEMENT Low Involvement / Rational • Things we buy out of habit without much thought • Typical role of advertising: get people to sample or switch. To break the automatic habit of spending. • Coupons, samples, demonstrations, can work well. Also adding some emotional appeal can also work well.
  11. BUY INVOLVEMENT Low Involvement / Emotional • Gratification we get from these products is emotional or sensual; however, it is fleeting and does not last a long time. • Includes movies, candy, an entertaining magazine, birthday card, selecting a restaurant for a special occasion • Advertising challenge tends to be the flash promise of pleasure, or of gratification, the promise of a benefit, • Strong positioning can help, especially in a crowded product category
  12. BUY INVOLVEMENT Six Stages of Consumer Buying Process 1. Problem recognition (awareness of need 2. Information search 3. Evaluation of Alternatives 4. Purchase decision 5. Purchase 6. Post purchases evaluation Not all decision processes lead to a purchase. All consumer decisions do not always include all 6 stages, determined by the degree of complexity.
  13. BUY INVOLVEMENT 6 Roles in the Purchase Process in corporate environments: 1. Initiator – first identifies the need to buy a particular product or service to solve an organizational problem; 2. Influencer – their views influence the buy decision makers 3. Decider – ultimately approves all of any part of the entire buying decision – whether to buy, what to buy, how to buy, and where to buy; 4. BUYER – holds the formal authority to selec the supplier and arrange terms of condition 5. User – consumes or uses the product or service 6. Gatekeeper – controls information or access or both to decision makers and influencers. An individual can fall into one or more of these roles.
  14. BUY INVOLVEMENT Isolating the important players involves: 1. Isolate the personal stakeholders – Those individuals who have an important personal stake in the purchase decision, making exert more influence that other members of the buy 2. Follow the information flow – Influential members are central to the information to them. 3. Identify the experts – Expertise is an important determinate of influence in the buy. 4. Trace the connections to the top – powerful individuals often have direct access to top management. 5. Understand the role of the purchases department – Purchases department is dominant in repetitive buying situations.
  15. BUY INVOLVEMENT Defining and Increasing Buy Involvement: • Methods to consider • News • Blogs • Social Media outlets, • Case Studies, podcasts, • Forums
  16. BUY INVOLVEMENT Defining and Increasing Buy Involvement • Before defining messaging or methods to increase the buy involvement of those involved in the buy decision, first analyze each stake holder using a chart similar to the following: Executive Buyer Technical Buyers Users Importance Interest Emotional appeal Badge Value Risk
  17. BUY INVOLVEMENT • Once you have defined each of those involved in the buy decision from high involvement to low involvement: • You can define a plan to increase the involvement of each.] • This is also a very useful tool to create the types of messages, collateral, or other approaches to not only increase involvement, but to develop awareness campaigns. Awareness is an important part of every plan! Awareness leads to demand generation!
  18. CREATING A MESSAGE MAP Create a message map for any product or brand. 1. Create a headline  Make it twitter-friendly. No more that 140 characters.  One single overarching message that you want your customers to know about the product.  What is the single most important thing I want my listener to know about my product, service, brand, idea 2. Support the headline with three key benefits  The human mind can only process about three pieces of information in short-term memory 3. Reinforce the three benefits with proof points  Stories, statistics, examples
  19. KEEP YOUR MESSAGES: • Short and to the point • Simple sound bites • Easy to remember • Focused on the User’s need • Example: A drill manufacturer’s customers do not need a drill, they need a hole • Differentiate from the competitors’ messages. • Analyze their messages and find a different approach, different angle …. Make it stand out. Make it compelling. • Listen to the market. They will tell you what is missing or the short comings. (monitor blogs, social media to get existing feedback.) Remember: We are opening up a dialogue with our customers and not talking at them.
  20. NOW START OVER AGAIN!!!  If properly implemented, we will engage in a campaign that not only creates a compelling story, but also creates a dialog with the end users  This sparks a relatively untapped tool with messages that are thought provoking (can invoke their passion)  Be ready to change at any given moment,  If we properly open up a dialog with our campaigns, we will learn as much from out target customers as they will from our campaign. Probably more from out target customers.