New Year, New You.
Karl Mather, Senior Copywriter, Engine Group
Out with the old, in with the new. Change is a good thing, right? Well, maybe. But change for no reason is definitely a bad thing. Just because you’re itching to move on doesn’t mean other people are bored with your message. So, the first thing you have to ask yourself is do you really need a new campaign? Have you given your target audience enough opportunities to connect with your current advertising?
The Rule of 7.
The Rule of 7 states that it takes an average of seven interactions with your brand before a purchase or action will take place. That probably doesn’t sound like a lot but making sure yours is one of the ones that sticks in the consumer’s mind is no easy task, especially when you realise that the average person is bombarded with somewhere between 6,000 to 10,000 ads every day (it’s a best guess, the last time anyone measured the number was back in 2007 when market research company Yankelovich put the number at 5,000 and social media had yet to become the all-conquering monster it is today).
So, how do you define an interaction? The Rule of 7 classes anything that contains a mention of your brand or product name as an interaction. For example:
A TV ad
An online review
A magazine ad
A social media post
A call from a company representative
Word of mouth
An outdoor billboard
An online banner ad
Presence at an event or exhibition.
The list is almost endless. Any one of these can be counted as a brand interaction and, as long as it’s positive, will nudge your target audience towards a purchasing decision or required action.
Playing by the Rule.
The Rule of 7 is all about encouraging repeat interactions with your audience and Jonathan Hedger of Amplify Digital Marketing in California reckons, entirely coincidentally, there are 7 things you can do to make sure it works.
1. Have a clear idea of who your customers are. Narrowing your target as much as possible will help you achieve better results.
2. Target the websites, media channels, magazines, journals and places or events they spend significant amounts of time looking at, visiting or attending.
3. Make re-marketing a priority. According to Sydney-based content marketing experts Brafton, six out of 10 website visitors leave without visiting another page on the same site. Re-marketing is a low cost way to stay connected with people who have already shown an interest in your brand.
4. Develop an online plan to get your brand in front of new customers or supporters. Use channels like Google, Facebook and LinkedIn to raise your profile.
5. Have a content marketing plan that covers the whole brand interaction lifecycle from first impressions to loyal supporter. It’s important to know what stage your audience relationship is at in order to maximise your messaging.
6. Make the most of your social channels. Don’t just rely on organic posts to get your message across, embrace the power of paid-for posts to reach your target audience too.
7. Send emails. They’re great for delivering relevant content and special offers that engage and retain existing customers and they work well as an introduction to new targets. Remember, people always see the subject line before they decide whether to open or delete an email, so make sure your subject line grabs their attention straight away.
All of these are ways of increasing your brand visibility and making it easier for potential customers or existing followers to find you. What happens after they’ve found you is up to you. Which brings us back to the question – is it time for a change?
New message or fresh execution?
Unless you’re Narcissus (Google him) none of us wants to look at the same thing over and over again. But is it the message or the execution you need to change?
If people remember your brand name but don’t know what you do, or what your company or product values are, you need to reconsider your brand messaging. Establishing your core brand values is vital if you want people to choose your business over a rival.
Refreshing your brand.
Refreshing your brand is a big job. It involves re-imagining the who, what and most importantly why of your business and finding a way to express that to the world. It isn’t a task you should undertake lightly as it involves a good deal of time and effort. On the plus side, re-branding can offer the stimulation your business needs to create new growth in an ever-evolving market.
So, what could you gain by refreshing your brand? Joe Mills of US brand development agency Element Three believes you should be looking to achieve five main benefits:
#1: You will know your true identity.
The job of any good branding project is to enable you to see yourself in a true light. Far too often companies present themselves the way they believe the marketplace wants to see them, rather than as who they truly are. In order to have sustainable business results, you have to target the appropriate audience. Showing up inauthentically will never achieve that goal. A rebrand will help you to know yourself, allowing you to clearly articulate your brand’s position in the market and target the right customers.
#2: Reposition yourself in the marketplace.
The world is constantly changing and you may find that the people you’re used to serving aren’t your best audience anymore. Any new prospective market needs to understand first why they should be interested in you. Having a clear brand identity provides you the backbone of a differentiated ‘why’. Only after establishing this can you move on to how you do what you do, and finally what you actually offer.
#3: Create a foundation for your marketing activities.
Your brand is the starting point for every other piece of marketing that you execute. The brand guidelines tell you everything from the tone your copywriting needs to take to the colour palette you will use in advertisements, landing pages, your website, and social media pages. When your brand is defined it tells you who to target, which in turn helps with the content you create and what channels that content is distributed through.
#4: Stay current.
There is a difference between inauthentic pandering to trends and staying consistent with what consumers want. Reflecting changes in society is important if you want to stay vital, but it’s important to do this within the context of your business’ history and established values and not simply as a knee-jerk reaction. Stepping back and taking time to re-assess your role in the world can help you to re-brand more effectively. Sometimes the most ground breaking shifts are not the most seismically obvious.
#4: Create a compelling reason to join your team.
As an employer, the most valuable resource you have is your team. Assuming a level playing field in terms of salary, opportunities and benefits, what will make them stay loyal and committed to your business? A strong, clear brand identity enables you to create a clear picture of what your team is trying to achieve. How are you improving your customers’ lives? Why does your work matter? What positive contribution are you making to the world? That’s brand in its finest form.
Refreshing your existing ad campaign.
If your brand message is believable, recognisable, clearly establishes your brand or product as unique from its competitors and has been in market long enough to have benefitted from the Rule of 7 but you’re still not achieving your goals, you probably need to reconsider the way you’re telling your story.
There are several ways you can refresh your existing ad campaign and re-engage with your target audience.
Creative Rotation – Different creative resonates with different people. So, if you have multiple creative executions, one simple trick is just to try serving them to different audiences. If your audience is used to seeing one particular execution, giving them new content to engage with could be all that’s needed to jumpstart your campaign.
Tweak it, don’t change it – Adjusting a single element of your ad can often cause people to notice it more. Simple changes like adding a brightly coloured border, changing a background image, or introducing some kind of simple animation to your online executions can get a campaign noticed when it was invisible before.
Hit pause – Now may not be the right time to be running your message. Think about its current relevance and whether the same campaign may work again when the time is right. Sometimes giving your audience a bit of a break is all that’s needed to refresh them and get them engaging with your ads again.
Kill it and start again – By far the most radical option but also the one that will throw up new ideas and has the potential to attract fresh attention and get people talking. Working closely with your agency on a new campaign will also have the added benefit of re-engaging you with your brand and re-energising your thinking and marketing efforts.
How can you ensure 2021 gets off to a positive start?
If neither your message nor your execution resonates with your target audience, maybe you need a new agency. And if that’s the case then, if you only make one resolution this New Year, promise yourself that you’ll give your business the best possible chance of success in 2021 and give Engine’s Managing Director Tim Weger a call on 07 3852 5300.
At Engine, we’re committed to the idea that creativity in thinking and execution leads to the most memorable and effective communications. We work hand in hand with our clients to explore possibilities, identify opportunities and develop strategies that will create positive change for their business, for their brand and for their future.