Messaging: It matters more than the means!

So when we venture out to share the messaging about what we do with the B2B and tech communities we love, we are bombarded with questions about how we achieve marketing success for our clients. And inevitably, people jump to asking questions like:

  • Do you do social?
  • Can you do a drip email campaign for us?
  • Can you do a press release and get us in the news?
  • Will you automate our digital outreach?
  • Do you make videos?

 

And while all of these are perfectly valid questions, we want to cry “Hey, you’re putting the cart before the horse there! Before you talk about the means to get to them — have you even figured out to which customers you’re messaging and what your messaging should tell them about you?”

 

And we have to poke our engineer and tech-savvy clients a bit.

 

Actually, not poke. We just have to say it bluntly.

 

You’re the worst!

 

Before digital marketing was pretty much everything anyone talked about in marketing, you’d at least listen to us tell you about the importance of brand, taglines, imagery, perception, creative campaigns, promotions, event outreach, press strategy and customer & public relations — all forms of messaging!

 

Now — someone has convinced you that all marketing takes place at this keyboard and that you NEVER have to leave your dark engineering corners which makes you oh, so happy!

 

My goodness, what have we wrought?

 

So we’re going to say this and keep repeating it until it sticks. The messaging still matters. The messaging still matters.  Stop focusing on the means until you get it in your head that the messaging still matters.

 

And let us also say — it’s not your fault. It’s an industry problem that marketers have so convinced you that if they get you half-a-second of a view of half your ad, they’ve done their job. Well, thankfully, market leaders like Proctor & Gamble’s Mark Pritchard are calling out the industry on digital return sleight-of-hand, and demanding more from the people who run the “means” side of the industry.

 

Which means maybe, just maybe, we can make a case for focusing first on messaging, then how to maximize the message across delivery vehicles (like digital ads, press releases, promotions and all the many forms your messaging can take) and lastly the MANY means of delivery: organic digital content, digital ads, social, sponsored content, digital video distribution, print, broadcast, and other offline means.

 

Think about it — what makes you respond to or remember the sponsored content that smacks you in the face on Twitter, Facebook or a Google search? It’s what the content says that is important to you.

 

And messaging has to be first strategic, then creative. The strategy finds the best ways to connect with your customer on a visceral and emotional level. The creative makes that connection memorable.

 

So, want marketing that works? Remember, it’s first about the messaging — the strategic and creative messaging!

 

 

 

TBT: Dancing hamsters – creative & tech DO mix!

We’re at the Florida Venture Forum, and at yesterday’s Women in Venture Capital event we were reminded how often technology companies forget that creative campaigns work! So with a nod to Throwback Thursdays, we wanted to share a story of how the unexpected brought unexpected success.

A few years back, we had an amazing client who had a skincare product. Based on tech developed to help burn victims, this small company had begun to move into the beauty market. And we were launching a press initiative for them.

So — a quick note about beauty editors. They get swag. They get serious swag. And they get invitations to spectacular events like Paris Fashion Week. So, how were we going to stand out in the midst of ALL that “stuff?” And how were we going to explain the tech behind the product in a way that editors could easily share with their readers?

Enter Carly, the Dancing Hamster. Carly wore a business suit, carried a cell phone in one hand, a briefcase in the other and sang, in her squeaky hamster voice, “She Works Hard for the Money.” We donned Carly with a custom banner, added a great promo card complete with a limerick which hinted at the advanced tech in the client’s products and supported all the fun pieces with a detailed press backgrounder and online “quiz.” (You can find more details here!)

BUT — the reason we got traction wasn’t because of the detailed tech explanation. It was Carly. With follow-up calls to our targeted editors we simply had to say “We sent you the hamster.” And no matter the reaction (usually laughter) there was a REACTION!

This simply gave us the hook to get our clients product on the radar cost-effectively in an industry where $1000s of dollars are spent per editor just to get a 10-line-mention in a beauty favorites page.

Why is this important? Because we see so many technology companies who forget to bring the creative — which means they forget to connect to emotions. They so busy selling the features of their next-generation, earth-changing tech, they forget their audience is made up of HUMANS who laugh, cry and love.

The approach changes for every customer you target, but never forget to tap your creative side (or let us help you tap it!) to connect to their emotions. That’s what gets your next-generation technology noticed and makes it memorable!

 

No F***s left Friday: Guerrilla doesn’t always mean “good”

We LOVE guerrilla marketing campaigns. We can’t get enough of them. We build flash mobs, send out flying pigs, create dragon costumes, give away cute plush puppies…

BuddyWithBuddy

…here’s ADORABLE DIXIE with her Prempoint BUDDY? “Buddy” was a promotion that helped drive up our client’s web traffic by 230% for three days and made them hugely successful at an industry tradeshow!

 

Our campaigns are fun, engaging, memorable, socially shareable and really stand out in an all-too-often BORING technology market.

 

BUT, all of our guerrilla marketing campaigns would be a WASTE. OF. MONEY. if they didn’t have solid, strategic thought behind them. Because none of them would yield measurable ROI if they didn’t build on a solid, strategic path.

 

 

So, here are a few of the strategic “musts” you have to consider when building an effective guerrilla campaign.

Know your customer profile

Before you determine the creative part of the campaign, where you plan to execute it. the choice of offline or digital and so forth, you have to know your customer profile. This is more than the demographics of gender, education, income and location — but is rather the delving into “a day in the life” of your customer. Where do they get their coffee — Starbucks, Dunkin Donuts or the office sludge machine? Do they bring lunch from home, dine with office colleagues or use lunch to run errands? Do they have dinner at home  All of this MATTERS when you’re building incentives, determining if your target customer will respond to everything from the music you use for your flash mob (Liz Phair for security industry guys? Uhm, NO!) to the prizes you offer for your contest.

 

Campaigns are for people — not companies

When you go to create that incentive, if you’re thinking of offering a FREE unit of the business to business product you sell as a reason for someone to enter your contest, engage with you at a tradeshow or make an appointment with you — think again! If I win a free printer for my company, well, how does that really help me personally? I’d be more enthused to join your mailing list if you offer a happy hour for me and 10 of my friends! Or if you have a swath of Mom-types who are the purchasing managers for the companies you target — might they love a mother-daughter pedicure? The point is — at least in the business-to-business marketing we are known for — it’s easy to forget you’re building a relationship with your customer as a person. And that goes beyond how your widget may help their company improve. You’re selling to a person, and appealing to their wants and needs.

 

You’ve about a nano-second to tell the story…

This one’s simple. If you have to explain it in more than a breath. Kill it.

 

…You’ve got less to connect to your product or service

And just in case this follow-on isn’t obvious. If it’s hard to tell WHO the promotion is for. Kill it.

 

Those are the basics. We’d love to tell you more about the importance of strategy when developing creative campaigns! Contact us before you plan your next promotion, advertising, event or show!