Planning for messages | Digital marketing for Digital Dinosaurs




Over the past few sessions we have discussed about some key building blocks of our digital approach.

We started with the WHY (objectives) WHO (the target or digital persona), it’s now the time to talk abut the WHAT (the actual digital activities) before we talk about the WHERE (the media platform where we can broadcast our digital activities)


In order to analyse the topic of the WHAT we need to discuss about two areas - the message and the executions

The message is WHAT we want to communicate.


It is the content of our digital communication and it is what hopefully will influence our target’s behaviour in our favour (more on this in a minute)


The Execution is the vehicle that delivers our message. For the purpose of this course I will define execution as any form of digital communication whether a YT video ad or a Linkedin post.


In the next videos we will go through The Message first and once understood the key principles we will analyse the most important executions in the most relevant digital platforms.

It will be a long journey so I will divide this in manageable chunks, are you ready?


WHAT (The Message)

Advertising is a game of stimulus and response, a brand sends out a message to someone with the intention of influencing their attitude and hopefully convincing them to behave the way that the brand wants.

So, any form of commercial communication at the end of the day aims at solving a problem or grab an opportunity. All this through a message. Note that The word message is used here in its most ample form.



This message is developed starting from understanding the target, packaged in a form of advertising execution and conveyed through the relevant media channels.

Once received by the target audience, the message will provoke some form of response. And this response will hopefully solve the initial problem or grab the opportunity.

The message we choose to communicate is therefore crucial and we want to make sure we spend enough time and effort in crafting it.

That’s the key message: the most important thing to say that will change consumers’ behaviour.

We want this message to be 1) simple to understand 2) relevant and interesting 3) single minded 4) unique and different as explained in next slides.

Where do those message come from? Given the importance of what we have to say to people for the ultimate purpose of influencing their behaviours, we don’t want to leave it to chance.

When we want to think about what to say, as advertisers we normally start from two places: our audience and our product.

a. Audience

Let’s start with the audience first. As mentioned our objective with communication is to affect someone’s behaviour and modify it in our favour (Examples someone is not buying our product and we want to change this behaviour into a purchase) because it is not useful for our business.

If we can understand why people behave in a certain way, we could use this info and transform it into a form of message. That’s why we discussed to a great extent about triggers and barriers and precision marketing in the past these sessions.

Example we realise that people don’t use mouthwash because they don’t understand the reason why they should. This is a problem with relevance. This tells us that we should educate people on what is the advantage of using mouthwash. We can craft a message accordingly

b. Product

On the other side, when planning for messages, we can look at the product that we want to communicate about.

Here FMCG marketers and dinosaurs like me are the experts.





When we develop key messages from the product perspective we normally look at:

  • Discriminator: what’s the single most important point of difference of this product?

  • Benefit/Reason why: can be both emotional or functional

Discriminator is that one relevant product feature that makes the product unique, different and implicitly better than its competitors.

Discriminator can be a product benefit, a reason to believe (more on this in a sec) or even the attitude of a brand.


FMCG marketers know that Discriminator or also called differentiator is a big luxury. Many times our products are not so different from the others but yes, if we have any of this we can transform into a powerful claim and craft a great message

Most of the times we end up crafting message starting from product benefits


Benefit: The functional, emotional and sensory benefits that motivate purchase

Benefits describe the ways in which the brand solves consumer problems or offers an improvement in some aspect of their life

Brand benefits are both functional (whiten skins, eliminate dandruff) and emotional (improves confidence)


Now, let’s be honest, many overall benefits, especially in FMCG, tend to be similar one another. So in an attempt to be more relevant, more unique or simply more interesting and convincing, we at a more sophisticated deeper level we call reason to believe


The Reason To Believe (RTB): rational and emotional reasons why should people believe that the product actually can deliver its benefit.

Reasons to believe are supporting evidences that help the story being convincing, either because they are unique to our product or simply because they help

Examples of RTB are ingredients, mode of action, internal technology

Let me show some examples

Let’s take a shampoo that promises to remove dandruff.

You probably know a couple of brands already, like Head and Shoulders and Clear.

Now the benefit “remove dandruff” is the same, how to differentiate?

Let’s say that CLEAR takes a scientific approach so it supports the claim with the reason to believe of a special compound that they call xyz (I think they call it pro-nutrium) while H&S takes a more natural ingredients avenue and talks about apple fragrance

Same benefit, different reasons to believe

Let’s recap:

We want to use communication (digital communication for what concerns this course) to convince people to behave in a specific way.

In order to do this we need to craft a message (that’s what communication does) and convey this message in the form of a digital execution through digital media.

The first step we discussed so far is: how do we write those messages, where do they come from? And we learned they mostly come from two areas, consumers triggers/barriers and/or product features.



Now it’s time to look at the second aspect of the message, meaning the types of executions that will carry this message through the media.

In other words what type of digital activities we can create?

This is going to be a pretty long and intense part as we will look at the different types of digital activities, and there’s quite a lot of it.

Stay with me for next sessions; hope you're enjoying this material, please get in touch!

Max

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