Monday, July 11, 2016

Get the Brand Message Right

I have worked with clients who are totally focused on the media plan or the social media tactics or on which marketing communication vehicles to use and what the spend should be for each of them. But they completely neglect the brand message. 

Admittedly, marketers must carefully choose their brands' target markets and then identify communication vehicles that can reach those markets with the greatest effectiveness and efficiency. And admittedly, most of the impact of brand communication is on building brand awareness, not changing brand perceptions.

But having admitted to both of these, I contend that the most strategic part of what is largely a series of tactical marketing exercises is choosing the right message - one that reinforces the brand's unique value proposition. The message needs to be emotionally compelling, unique and believable for the brand.

I find that more often than not, true marketers get this. But people who have come from operations, engineering, finance or even general management backgrounds (or new, inexperienced marketers) often default to the tactical decisions while paying little to no attention to the message itself. Or sometimes, they decide that the message should be some gimmick (e.g. a celebrity endorsement), or worse yet, a giveaway or a price discount.

I have had marketing decision makers tell me that they don't have the time to determine what the optimal brand message should be. Maybe next time. 

You are wasting your marketing communication spending if you are not using the marketing communication vehicles to convey the right message. Before you jump into the weeds of the marketing communication tactics, step back and make sure you have the right message to communicate.  

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