There is much debate over whether marketing is an art or a science. Actually (in true fence sitting style), I think that to a greater or lesser degree it is both!
In this blog I want to focus on one specific element of the marketing mix (and it is just ONE element), promotion. More specifically how to apply science to your communications to make them really effective … whether to the masses or one on one. The great news is that this can be applied equally successfully both offline and online….
So here we go
Step 1 Draw the recipients ATTENTION to your communication. Often just one line of text is the difference between engagement and rejection. For example the subject line for an email, an envelope line on a piece of direct marketing, the title of a blog article, the headline on a press ad … the list goes on.
So what does ‘draw attention’ mean? Firstly you need to get into the mindset of your target audience – consider what is the most compelling thing you can say to get them to engage. You need to be careful with this one though … it has to be credible and you have to be able to deliver on it. If you have read any of my previous blogs you will see that I am a big advocate of testing …. this one is no exception! Come up with several lines that you are happy with and test them against each other. Then, once you have a clear winner, test that some more – just remember to keep everything else consistent so as not to invalidate the results.
Step 2 Capture their INTEREST from the opening OK, so you have got your target audience to a place where they are willing to give up their time to ‘hear’ what you have to say….no mean feat in today’s busy world. What now? It is time to build and expand upon what got you their attention in the first place. The key thing here is to use language that will resonate and clearly answer the question ‘what’s in it for me?’
Step 3 Create Desire with a not to be missed offer This is where sales promotion techniques come into their own. Everyone likes to get something for nothing and if the perceived value is higher than the actual value, so much the better. The trade off here is to encourage them to tell you a little more about themselves in the process.
For example provide a menu of options for them to choose from – their selection will be a good indicator of their drivers and allow you to get even more targeted in the future.
Step 4 Provide the CONVICTION that they should act Aside from early adopters who by their very nature want to be the first to try something, most people like to know that someone else has dipped their toe first! A well written testimonial provides the evidence of this and gives permission to proceed in an unconscious way!
Step 5 Make it clear how they take ACTION This is the final and simplest of the steps and yet all too often either gets missed or is made so complex that it just seems like hard work. The most common error I have seen is asking for too much upfront …. the requirement to complete a detailed and lengthy questionnaire for example. Keep it as simple and as straightforward as possible. If numerous details are required, request those separately as part of a follow up communication.
So there you go – 5 steps to communication success or to put it another way …. AIDCA