Message & Media: Meet Your Marketing Allies
• Business objective: Help us understand the marketing goal. Is it to acquire new customers? Transform first-time tryers into second-time buyers? Increase the average sale? Identify better qualified landing page leads? Counter new competition?
• Targeted audience: Tell us everything you know about the audience. We want to know them inside out. Statistics are good; so are anecdotal and qualitative insights. Give us demographics, psychographics and behavioral patterns. The more we know about the individual whose behavior we are trying to change, the more successful we'll be.
• Product details: What are the top three selling points of your product/service for the audience targeted? What are your competitive advantages? Give us features and benefits. Tell us if the product is new, improved, an exclusive or available in limited quantities. We like to see charts and graphs—we may use them. What you take for granted after years of working with your product may be the creative "hook" we need.
• Competitive insights: What are we up against? Who are your top competitors? What differentiates your product or company from theirs? Comparison shoppers know who your competitors are—your creative team should, too.
• Media rationale: Tell us why you selected direct mail, email or whatever media you're using. Let us know how you're supporting it with social media. Tell us which media you've tested—which worked, which didn't. Last, but not least, we need to understand customer expectations. For example, if you are testing email to a customer list that has always heard from you via direct mail, tell us.
• Buying objections: Do you know why qualified buyers aren't buying from you? If not, ask your sales or customer service staff. Better yet, let us ask them. We love a challenge, but we need to understand the obstacles we have to overcome. Experienced writers and designers address buying objections in their creative strategy.