Crafting A Communication Strategy
Now we're gonna start on the third step, which is called Crafting a Communication Strategy. At this point, what we're gonna be doing is translating those insights and benefits that we've been talking about into generating a communication idea that is persuasive for consumers to actually get into the brand. When we talk about ideas, we're talking really about advertising. Fascinating world of advertising. One of my favorite things to do as a brand builder is really, really talking about what is that message that really connects with the heart and mind and really embodies what you offer. Advertising, I like to explain it as the art with a consumer response in mind. There's a lot of creativity, there's a lot of elements in advertising that are really different devices in order to connect with the client. Now, creative advertising agencies are typically those that you hire to actually do the translation of that benefit and then insight into advertising executions, right? Typically, to hire...
any agency of any kind, or call in a freelancer if you need an idea, if you need advertising material. It all starts with a great brief. What the brief is is really the articulation on what are the core elements of communication that will serve as the foundation for them to actually translate into a piece of communication, a piece of advertising in many different forms in terms of being able to use it to drive sales. Whether you are hiring an agency or you're going to do this work yourself, you have to know what are the core elements of the communication for it to actually turn into a persuasive message. That's what we're going to learn. We're trying to impact purchase decision with how we talk about our brand. There are three core components, I call them IBI, on any communication strategy, and again, this is what you put in a brief, whether you're doing it yourself, or you're hiring someone to bring back some advertising material. The I in IBI, the first I stands for insight. We have been talking a lot about identifying our target customer. Then you need to understand what makes them tick. That's why, remember, we're going to meet our customer, meet our target. Then in the insight, we'll talk in a second, is really that way in. How can you get the consumer to say, "A-ha, you get me?" That's what an insight is all about, which is really that understanding of that human truth that you can connect with. The benefit, remember, comes from the equity pyramid. Those things that set you apart, and what the brand offers. It's the promise the brand makes to the consumer. When you have these two components, the idea is that a brilliant insight with a solid benefit, together, they get transformed into an idea. That's what ideas are. It's a transformation of the benefit and the insight together so that it can be executed in different advertising forms. I showed you this Venn diagram before. It's a great way to understand the relationship of these components, and again, the idea is the transformation of those elements. Just to emphasize, the insight comes from your target. That's why you need to know your target, because for communication's sake, without it being insightful, it might not translate into a persuasive message. And the benefit is about what you offer, not someone else. It has to be about a choice that you made in that positioning. We're going to be playing with this. But let's start with what is an insight? This is a good definition of an insight because it's a broad term, but this one will keep it really tight in terms of what is a good insight for you to connect, and you know you'll have one when you are able to do these things. A, it's not yet obvious, so it's not something that is at anyone's disposal, because that's not insightful, right, and it's about the target consumer. Touches the heart, so has the ability to have a little bit of that emotion on why is it that you're catching my attention. It's actionable, so you can do something with it. Typically, the best insights are a result of combining knowledge about the consumer, like you know what they do, what makes them tick, and attention worth resolving. I'll share an example. Attention worth resolving, why do you need attention? Because the brand is with the benefits of that attention. That's how the insight and the benefit come together. One of my favorite campaigns is for the brand Dove, personal cleansing, and as part of their campaign "For Real Beauty," there's an execution called "Camera Shy." Has anyone seen it? Some of you have seen it. Quite a great example of a wonderful film really showing how women approached by cameras, they tend to hide, 'cause they don't want to be on camera. They contrast that film with little girls, who happily play to the camera, and they're free and joyful. They show that contrast in a beautiful film. This campaign really stems from this powerful insight of when you're a woman, you hide from the camera because you stop thinking you are beautiful. You can see a tension there. You can see the insight, and you can see there's something worth doing about it, especially if you're a personal care brand. They got this insight, actually, from real knowledge. They did a survey when they did a quantitative survey where they actually found that 77% of women are camera-shy. It's not something that you're volunteering to do. It touches the heart because there's really that truth, as I mentioned, we're resolving because, regardless of your age, women want to be as confident as they were when they were a little girl. The benefit of the brand being able to stand for that real beauty and be your true self and regain that confidence, which is what the brand wants to stand for, married with that human truth, with a juicy tension of, when did you stop believing you were beautiful, makes for a perfect combination for a powerful communication that has allowed this brand to really connect with many more consumers. Many of you are aware of this communication, whether you use the brand or not. for many of them, for many of these, would probably trigger a purchase, but the brand is being recognized, and that insight, without that insight, the benefit of just, "We stand for confidence," that's nothing. It's the insight that gives you permission to talk to the consumer. That's what insights are all about, and that's where, really, the majority of the great ideas stem from, from that perfect marriage of the insight and the benefit. Insights can come from anywhere, and that case was a quantitative survey. Sometimes it's through qualitative research, and sometimes it's just from listening to the consumers just like we were talking. You can meet them through sampling your product. The key is, if you find something with the characteristics that we've talked, you'll know you'll have it. You should feel, "A-ha, wow," just like you would say, "Oh, that's insightful. "I never heard that before, but it's so true." That's what you should be articulating back when you know you have a strong insight. Now, there's actually a lot of false insights or things that we think are insights, but they're not. I like looking at this list that tells you what is not an insight. A description of a habit the consumer has. Consumer watches TV. That's not an insight. There's nothing interesting there beyond just a behavior. There's no juicy tension to resolve there. A barrier on why someone is not buying your product. People are not buying the product because it's too expensive. That's not an insight. That might be a fact, but there's nothing you can really do on communication, per se. Something that's very obvious. Call it, "I want to look good." "I want my hair to look good." Well, what can you do with it? There's no real specificity or tension, or, really, insightfulness in it, or just as we talked, facts. 32-year-old woman or male who lives in the suburbs. None of that is an insight. Beware on picking insights that are very superficial and that don't have the tension. Now, that's easier said than done, but strive for that something that is true. Also, talk to yourself as a consumer. What is the deep emotion that I could tap into to connect into my brand? Also, stories are great. I think some of the brands find a lot of insights just learning more about who the consumers are, as you shared at the beginning of class. "This was the first time I used the brand "and what it meant for me. "It changed my career. "It really reminds of my best friend. "It really makes me good about myself." Why do this brand? Because this happened in my life. Stories on why customers use your product tend to be very rich, so that's an example on where you can go and find them. Knowing what an insight is, let's say we are in this camp, and the insight is about the target. Just a quick refresher on benefits. We saw that on step number two as we were looking at the positioning, which is many different benefits that a brand can stand for. We talked about functional, performance, aesthetics. Some of examples here, you know... Dyson actually has very interesting advertising. The vacuum, you know. Dyson vacuums never lose suction. That's an articulation of a functional benefit that is quite distinctive for them, and you can see how the advertising, and in that case, they bring that to life with the insight, 'cause that is basically a problem that vacuums have, but they do it in a way actually leveraging their founder, et cetera, so the advertising comes to life. When we think about emotional, here, there's a lot of brands, for example, in the alcohol category, right. It's mostly about functional emotional benefits, because you're really wouldn't show the functional benefit of it, right? It's all about, in this case, for example, if it's Heineken, Heineken would say, Heineken boosts any social setting, right? That's what you see in the advertising with the insight. Some of the car brands, right, it's either you talk about the features that is the performance-based, or for example, Hyundai Santa Fe, that positions itself to be a great family car, their benefit would be the confidence to transport your family safely. You would start to pick what are the specific benefit. Or even cameras. Canon gives you the ability to see things differently. It's not about highly pixelated pictures or great quality phones. You know, they're connecting to other things. Just as an example, those benefits that come from your equity. There's cleverness in how you articulate those, but more from a distinctiveness point of view. Those two things together with the insight come to life and give you an idea. This has been one of the longest-standing advertising campaigns. Over 20 years, and executed in over 100 countries. Maybe you remember the tagline, "There's some things money can buy. "For everything else, there's MasterCard." And they execute it with their priceless tag. This campaign-- When I talk about campaigns, are ideas that have built a brand over time, and have so much room to continue to be executed in different ways, really stem from the learning that they had as a team that the consumer that they wanted to go after was less interested in accumulating things, but more about the relationships of the people they cared about. That's how they arrived to the insight of, life isn't about what you buy, but about the relationships and special moments they have with them. They target a group they want to go after. That's what they were hearing when they were doing their research. MasterCard happens to want to stand for enabling life to focus on what matters. The simplicity and commerce is one of the statements that you will see in some of their communication. Those two things together gave birth to what is today that campaign of priceless moments, which is MasterCard-enabled priceless moments. It's the perfect summary of having that insight of, it's about the things that, call it, the money allows me to do it, is the relationships, not what I buy, and MasterCard being a brand that wants to stand for for enabling the things that matter. Perfect marriage, and that is what has enabled the brand to be recognizable in finding an idea that transcends countries, years, is not an easy task to do. But it's just to point out that the important role ideas take in terms of building a brand, because that is how you will communicate and connect with the consumer, and give them reasons on why you should be the brand, and MasterCard today, you can tell that is a very different positioning from their competitors, from Visa and American Express. They have chosen different communication, different positions. That's basically IBI in action. Assuming we found an idea, whether it was the agency, yourself, and if you don't have any of those tools, it could be about, what is the compelling communication point? How would you express about the brand? What are the reasons why people would buy you? The key next step is making that communication travel, 'cause one thing is having the communication. The other thing is you have to reach consumers with it. Without making this a whole media course-- We could spend hours talking about media. It's also a favorite topic of mine. What we're gonna think about is when we talk about media, which is how you reach the consumer. There's really two principles that you really need to master. The first one is when and where, which I will explain in a second, and the second one is reach. The primary method in which brands get their messaging in front of people is media, right, and you always need to do that at the right place at the right time. What enables you to know right place, right time is what we called understanding the receptivity of your customer. You need to know when the customer is more likely to be receiving the message that you care about. For example, if we're talking about feminine protection and you're a teenager, you want to be talked to and see an ad about feminine protection while you're watching TV with your family? Probably not. If you are, call it, a pregnant woman, what type of advertising do you expect to see in an app? Do you want Red Bull to be sending messages when you're in a baby app? Probably not. You have to understand when and where the customer that you care about will be more receptive to the particular message. We think about those principles. For example, what is the time of day that is more relevant? If you sell products that are better used at night, you're not gonna advertise in the morning, if you're talking about some of those products. What are the specific triggers if you're a breakfast product? Will you advertise in the evening? Would you advertise at lunch? What would be the specific time? That specificity on when and where the consumer is more likely to engage in your message will increase the effectiveness of those dollars that you're choosing to spend. That's principle number one, when and where. The second principle is reach. Depending on the vehicle that you choose and the sales goal that you have, reach is really the number of people that you want to get in front of that message. You need to know, for example, how many people do you feel you have to expose to your message before that translate into sales. Now, things can get rather expensive the more reach, right? That's why big brands, where do they typically advertise? TV. TV is the broadest reach vehicle that is out there. When you're making decisions on reach, there's a money consideration, there's a vehicle consideration, but also, this is one you can test and learn, right? You're not gonna spend a large amount of money on a new vehicle that you have never tried. The good news is that the very simple pre-post measurement, I sell this much without it. I put advertising on air, and did my sales improve or not? Still works, especially if you're talking about a controlled environment when you have the same type. That's the only variable that you are changing, and there's many different vehicles that you could do that. Here's a very long list. The reality is that the media options today are endless. A few years ago, you could reach the total US population with eight channels. That's no longer true. You might have to be on all channels, the thousands of them, and might still not reach the whole population, because it's quite fragmented today, how consumers consume media. That's why knowing when and where is most relevant, and knowing how many people you need to reach are the two criteria that you use to pick your media choices. Let's look at some examples. For mass reach, you have TV. It's rather expensive, but you know, some smaller brands could also do local buys. There's many different things that you can do with TV. It's not just the traditional 30-second ad reaching the total population. Print, great uses for print. Print is not dead, even if people believe, because the depth of messaging, for example, in specialized magazines, you have more of a captured attention, right? If you need depth of messaging or you need credentialing, for example, of a beauty product, print is the place to be, whether it's a physical print or online print, it doesn't matter. We're talking about the message out of home, as well, especially if you're going after an urban target. You're very likely to reach them with out-of-home advertising. Tons of online vehicles. That could be another class in and of itself. Whether it's search, whether it's video, which is banner ads, there's many different tools that you can use. For a specific relationship with your customers, customer-relationship programs, email is not dead, either. Some brands still use email to connect with their consumers in the database, so that still has multiple uses, and then public relationships and earned media. Again, this is just to give you an example that there's plenty of vehicles that you can go and experiment with, but it has to be the right one for you. I'm gonna continue now after step three to go into step four, because that is where we start to think about marketing strategy, and gets become more serious, so that we really know how the brand generates sales.