February 5, 2019 | by Erin Jones
We’ve talked about the powerful role messaging plays in your brand identity and integrated communications strategy. A well-crafted message resonates with your audience, communicates your value, and motivates people to take action.
Today’s consumers are pickier than ever, but can you blame them? We are inundated with hyper-personalized content and advertisements every day, enticing us with convenient gadgets or engaging our FOMO. With some data-driven online ads, the level of accuracy and timing in which they are delivered can be, well, creepy.
[To save you an “is the internet spying on me” google search: yes social media tracks its users, your voice assistant is probably not spying on you “all the time” (whew!), and the jury is still out on the alleged activities of government agencies.]
Conspiracy theories abound, but the reality is the competition to break through the clutter is stiff. Personalization has become an expected, not optional, component of any marketing strategy, therefore your message must be relevant and targeted or else your audience will keep on scrolling.
So, what is behind the process of developing the perfect message? SCIENCE! Specifically, research.
research | noun
the systematic investigation into and study of materials and sources in order to establish facts and reach new conclusions
While many of Bloom’s clients face similar marketing challenges, no two audiences are alike. Connecting with your unique audience requires an intimate understanding of the Who, What and Why.
Enter: Research-Based Marketing
A research-based marketing approach uses empirical evidence to inform the process, rather than anecdotal assumptions and hypotheses. Concrete data provides the framework to develop an educated, solutions-oriented strategy. The information gathered:
- Provides valuable insight into current efforts and trends
- Interprets audience perceptions, motivations, attitudes and influences
- Informs research methodologies designed for specific organizational objectives
Phase I: Discovery
Discovery is an analytical deep dive into an organization to gain an internal perspective. Through an immersion process driven by specific objectives, we evaluate present efforts and assess performance related to the organization’s goals, which then guides subsequent research methods and recommendations.
Why it matters: A common issue we find is a communication gap that results in convoluted messaging and conflicting priorities within an organization. This happens to the best of us, often as an organization grows or repositions, and if the goal is to effectively communicate with others it’s important to first get our own house in order!
Phase II: Research
Applied research methods are important tools for interpreting audience demographics. Building on knowledge from the discovery phase, we employ a custom research methodology to identify particular trends and gather data that will help solve determined organizational challenges.
Why it matters: Too often we see businesses take a piecemeal approach with their marketing efforts, launch unsuccessful campaigns, and end up throwing good money at bad strategies. Investing in market research to identify and understand your audience enables an organization to make informed decisions and implement strategic marketing efforts that deliver results. Just like your message, knowledge is power.
Phase III: Analysis
An analysis of all data gathered, coupled with a comprehensive evaluation, are critical for providing practical insight. This intelligence not only provides educated answers, but it forms the framework for outlining strategic recommendations and a solutions-oriented strategy. Armed with this information, we are able to begin the process of crafting the right message that speaks to your target audience and effectively communicates the organization’s value.
Why it matters: Insights, no matter how plentiful, are useless unless they are analyzed through a specific lens and applied methodically. We believe in research that is actionable and will provide time-tested results.
The Dream Team: Good Research for Great Messaging
Good message development is incumbent on good research. Without it, your messaging strategy is much like the age-old concept of throwing spaghetti at a wall to see if it sticks. It’s a strategy, sure… but it’s questionable at best, and definitely not a great use of your resources (unless you don’t mind recklessly burning through cash).
Research-based marketing provides a level of certainty that your message is designed and delivered in a way that will resonate with your target audience and drive organizational goals. Facts will always trump assumptions.
You’ll never know unless you ask.