Tag Archives: Communication

5 points to consider for your content strategy

26 Jan

Content marketing is gaining prominence especially with service marketers. According to Content Marketing Institute 58% B2B marketers in North America plan to increase their content marketing budgets in 2014. But it’s very easy to go from sharing relevant information with customers who want it to spamming. As companies increase their efforts to align content as a part of their marketing strategy they must carefully consider the route they want to take.

A comprehensive Content Strategy is key to ensure you are sending the right message to the right people. Here are 5 points you must consider to ensure you are on the right track:

  1. Bridge – Make your content strategy the bridge between your business goals and customer needs. With several channels at a content marketers disposal today, it can be the most effective means of user engagement.
  2. Prioritize – Define what you want to say, to whom and what channels are best suited for your target audience. Flooding people with content they don’t care about is not going to help you.
  3. Plan – There is really no way ad-hoc publishing is going to achieve your goals. You need to decide on your message and its dissemination plan in advance.
  4. Brand – Build brand ambassadors who can connect with your audience and give a personality to your message. These will be the mouthpiece for your message
  5. Engage – Find ways to engage your audience with continuous conversation (not a monologue!) instead of random, infrequent interactions. Make users your content generators and leverage the power of the crowd to spread your message. And ALWAYS keep it interesting

Take look at these great videos from Coca Cola where they outline their approach to content till 2020 in a most engaging way!

Remember, great content is one that is appreciated by the audience because it reaches them when and how they want it. So the next time you are fretting over low social engagement levels or a dip in your content downloads take a fresh look at your approach to content with the above 5 points in mind.

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3 tips to grab eyeballs – how to get your customers’ attention

2 Jan

It’s easier to know what your customer wants when you are face to face with them. Probably that’s an advantages that sales guys have over marketing folks. Marketing is sadly quite isolated and does not get much face time with the target audience of their messaging. They depend on analyst reports, market research reports and various kinds of surveys to determine what the customer is possibly looking for. Quite tough to please everyone that way!

While navigating these difficult waters of product/service messaging to ensure customer attention and interest having a few rules of thumb can be helpful. Though there are multiple tools and techniques available to create a successful message, for me, 3 simple things have worked well:

Bling it – When it comes to bling, look no further than Bollywood (for the uninitiated, it’s the Hindi movie industry). Some movies have managed to pull crowds solely based on the promotional campaigns that showcased glitz, glamour, thrill and adventure. I call these elements that evoke aspirational feelings in the target audience; Bling. The aim is to create a feeling of “I want” in the customers’ mind. Simply put, add some shine to what you are selling and make it stand out from the crowd.

What’s new – The same old stuff in a new package just won’t do it anymore. The customers are much savvier today than they were just a few years ago. Today information exchange is instant, if I like/dislike a product/service/campaign I can let thousands of people know about it at the click of a button (long live Facebook). Product reviews are available the instant something hits the market, and in the case of a hyped product like an iPhone the speculations are rife much before the launch. In this digitally buzzing marketplace it is impossible to pass of old goods as new. You MUST have a differentiator.

What’s in it for me (WIIFM) – instead of going at it in a roundabout way, highlight in clean, simple messages, what’s in it for the customer. WIIFM can be related to aspiration, experience, lifestyle, utility, product attribute, convenience, or emotion. Some examples:

  • Gillette: the best a man can get. The closest shave
  • BMW: the ultimate driving machine
  • L’Oreal: because you’re worth it

Let me know what has worked for you.

3 simple rules of clear communication

31 Dec

This being my first blog post as a marketer, I thought why not start it by writing about the most important thing that a marketer needs to do? I.e. communicate! Label it what you will – MarCom, product marketing, services marketing, branding, advertising, content marketing; these are just ways, means and channels of creating, packaging and distributing the message.

The goal of every marketer is to get the message across to the customer/ stakeholder and engage their attention and interest. Period!

However, in this age of information overload, the challenge most marketers face is getting their message heard and understood over a hub-bub of millions of other such messages. Today, an individual receives overwhelming amounts of complex data and information throughout the day.  Think personally, how many commercials, mailers, jingles, banners do you come in contact with on an average day? A 100? 500? more? Would you care to stop what you are doing and make sense of all that? Hell no! We, like everyone else around us, want something that is simple and conveys what’s in it for us clearly without beating around the bush.

So how do you ensure that your message has a good chance of being received? For me the 3 simple rules work:

  • Clarity – Be clear about what you want to say. If you are confused about your message, rest assured that your customer will be too. Internal flip-flopping and misunderstanding will garble a message to make it incomprehensible to the end consumers leaving them with a feeling of “eh! What was that again?”
  • Brevity– Be brief. Don’t write a book where two words will do. Obviously I’ll leave it at that J
  • Consistency – Stick to your message whatever the packaging. In every communication that goes out from your organization make sure that the message is reinforced. You might feel you are repeating yourself but your customer out there might be hearing it for the first time. Repeating a message is a must for making it stick and stickiness will determine the success of your campaign.

What according to you would be the most important thing about communication that marketers need to understand?