Articles Tagged with: insight

Everclear Had It Right. Trying To Be Everything To Everyone Will See You Stumble & Fall.

“A choice to serve everyone, everywhere—or to simply serve all comers—is a losing choice.” – A. G. Lafley & Roger  L. Martin

1997 is arguably one the greatest years of Rock n Roll history.  Radiohead released OK Computer predicting a future techno-centric world we arguably now find ourselves in; while there were blindingly fantastic songs such as The Verve ’s ‘Bitter Sweet Symphony’, Foo Fighters ‘My Hero’, and Blur’s ‘Song 2’ amongst Aqua’s ‘Barbie Girl’.

Along with this alumni, Everclear released their hit single, ‘Everything to Everyone’ – which in 2018 and our era of Cambridge Analytica, and Micro or Mass Marketing, holds a pertinent message we can use for marketing, and in particular those brands that do as they sang – and ‘try to be everything to everyone’.

Last week I had a moment of serendipity.  After studying the theories and practices of audience segmentation, most notably around the schools of thought on ways to slice and dice markets, I met with the Chief Marketing Officer of a large sporting brand, and were chatting about their upcoming event.  There’s a lot of challenges that said brand faces in a crowded market, especially when Sydney-siders can be so fickle around sport, always jumping on bandwagons when they appear, and then just as quickly jumping off when things go sour.

With this in mind, I pressed the CMO on who their audience is, and what segments of the market they were looking to attract – to be met with ‘we’re targeting everyone’.

Now, brands clearly can’t target everyone – and brands don’t exist for everyone.  Unless of course you’re someone like Amazon – and even then an argument can be made against that notion.

There are 3 alarming issues for a brand that wants to ‘target everyone’ and doesn’t have a clear idea of market segmentation or who their target audience is.

1. Weak Messaging

If you’re trying to please everyone, you won’t have anything constructive, unique or relevant to convince people as to why your product or service is better than your competitors, and they should part with their hard earned cash for your product or service.

People are different.  We’re not the same, we have unique attitudes, behaviours and motivators.

If you aren’t talking to any of these particular characteristics or motivators, you’re going to find yourself down the list of people’s priorities when they think of your brand.

By trying to be everything to everyone, your message will end up being so weak and vanilla that customers at best won’t notice notice you, or at worst will seek out more specific and relevant brands for their needs.

2. Lack of Brand Promise & Strategy

Due to your messages being so vague and weak, your Brand Promise and ultimately the sense of your Brand itself is inevitably watered down in order to make it as appealing and broad as possible.

In turn, this affects what customers take away from your brand – which is confusion because you’re using fluffy terms, and buzz language that doesn’t meet an actual need that consumers have.

3. Wasted Budget

More often than not, as a business, you’re trying to maximise your profit, by ensuring that the cost it takes to acquire a customer, is less than the cost it takes to reach a customer. 

There is not a media channel in the world that will allow you to give a relevant message to a general audience.

You need to choose the right media, to get in front of the right person – at hopefully the right time.

Don’t waste your budget by going general – go specific, and look for the audiences that you can target with efficient media and use your budget efficiently.

The Solution

If you’re currently trying to target everyone, here’s 2 x things that you need to do immediately:

1. Audience Research

Get out there and understand your customers.  Whether you want to do focus groups, or online survey’s – the benefits of this are immeasurable and set you up for success.

I once had a client, who thought their existing customer didn’t purchase their clothing inventory more often was because their range wasn’t extensive enough.  After doing some research, we found out that the main reason they would purchase more often, was because they didn’t offer Free Shipping.

Turns out the client did offer Free Shipping, they just weren’t communicating it to their customers!

 2. Segment your Audience

Once you’ve done your research you can segment the market to find out which audiences are worth chasing. 

You’ll be in a position to understand the market as a whole, and it will be as if you’ve gained sight after being blind for your lifetime.

By trying to be everything to everyone, your brand and your marketing will be less for it.  Find your target markets, understand your segments, and you’ll avoid the spinning around, falling down, stumbling and falling that Everclear foreshadowed. 

BTW – Check out the class of ’97 – it’s a collection of the finest rock songs you’ll ever hear:

Marketing v PR. These 3 Points Highlight The Difference.

A number of arts companies we have spoken to and even artists themselves, have spoken of the time and commitment invested into Public Relations, however have put little to no thought into how marketing could be best utilised and fit into their promotional and communications strategy.

Artists we speak to are often talking to PR agencies, but aren’t engaging with marketing agencies as the benefits each discipline provides are perceived to be one and the same.

Public relations is a necessary investment in the development and promotion of the arts, as it creates awareness, provides editorial space in publications, and develops relationships with influencers in the industry, however, implementing a differentiated marketing strategy will be critical to the success of your company.

Here are 3 key things your marketing strategy can deliver that public relations can’t do:

1. Sales Objectives

Marketing drives sales.

Your marketing strategy should have clear, quantifiable sales and promotion objectives. Where public relations is best utilised for editorial space, critiques, reviews and influence of your brand, product or campaign, it is difficult to quantify its impact.
A marketing campaign will have clear objectives about what you are trying to achieve, whether it be a ‘brand’ campaign designed to deliver an increase in awareness and perception, or a ‘direct‘ campaign designed to convert an aware audience into a sale.
A clear marketing strategy should allow you to attribute your sales to activity, for example, by determining what your cost per sale is, cost per impression, return on investment or any number of other metrics dependant on the channel you are marketing, to gauge success and use as a benchmark going forward.
2. Insight

Effective marketing is based on effective insight.

Your marketing strategy needs data and insight in order to attain the desired outcome.  Insight could come from identifying your target market, or it could come from your product and should identify the key metrics you want to target through your campaign.
Only by obtaining data will your marketing be targeted enough in its offline and online process to effectively deliver on your objectives.  Insight, while driving marketing, can additionally be used to support public relations and assist in decisions about publications, media and stories for your PR strategy to focus.
3. Proposition & Messaging

Clarity trumps persuasion – Dr Flint McGlaughlin, Director, MecLabs

A successful marketing campaign has a compelling idea that lands a message which you want to communicate.  If your insight is rich enough you will be able to create a compelling message around your objective.  

If your message is compelling enough, you will be influencing prospective advocates and converting existing advocates to your objectives.
A marketing campaign provides one clear message to your target audience as to why they should see your show,  buy your product, or join your membership.

Ensure that your marketing strategy links with your overall objectives and is intertwined with other elements of your promotional strategy such as PR in order to maximise your campaigns.

Public relations does a great job at creating awareness but what it lacks in a ‘killer punch’ as a driver of and delivering sales, a complete marketing strategy does.
If you need a Marketing Strategy to be a core driver of your company or even to supplement your PR activity, speak to us today!

5 Things Your Direct Marketing Should Feature

If brand marketing is the heart of your advertising, direct marketing is the head. While ‘brand’ marketing focuses on eliciting emotions, and creating brand affinity with prospects and customers, ‘direct’ marketing focuses on the practicality and pragmatism of your product or service.  After you’ve delivered a brief and executed a ‘brand’ campaign, you will have a set of customers or prospects that know what you stand for, know how they feel about you, and know why they should buy from you.  The next step is to have them actually purchase.

These are 5 things your direct marketing should always include.

1.  Customer Insight

Why does your audience care? As with any piece of marketing, customer insight is vital and necessary to inform your creative campaign.  By understanding who you’re targeting, you’ll understand how and where to target them.  You should be able to answer these questions:

  • What is the objective and aim of the direct marketing comms?
  • What are you trying to achieve in your communications?
  • What are you going to be speaking about, and what will you be promoting?
  • Are you speaking to new customers and converting brand awareness into a sale.
  • Are you speaking to existing customers for a repeat purchase or an upgrade?


2.  Attention Grabbing

Whether you use flyers, posters, direct mail, or local press, your marketing must grab attention and maintain it enough so that the audience reads further.  Big, bold headlines that relate to an engaging image or colour on your creative will give your marketing ‘stand out’ in a cluttered and busy environment.

If your piece of direct marketing is part of a wider and larger brand campaign, being able to include elements of that campaign will lend your piece brand affinity and allow you to piggy back off the budgets already spent.

Are there seasonal events that your marketing can relate to?  Christmas, Halloween, or April Fools Day?  If you can tie your campaign with a seasonal events, you can leverage audience awareness and become more relevant by linking to a cultural event.


3.  Features & Benefits

I’ve seen too much marketing focus on features, rather than benefits – meaning you haven’t answered your customers main question: ‘Why do I care?’  Features allow you to talk about new news, an award you may have won, or a development of technology, but unless you talk about how that benefits your audience, and tell them why they should care, they’ll be less likely to purchase.

Can you justify your benefits with real accolades or testimonials?  These could be from existing customers, or celebrities that may have come across your product.

Ensuring you display the way a feature of your product or service benefits your audience’s life will give your campaign a higher response rate.


4.  Call to Action

Map the customer journey out, make sure your audience know they can visit a store, call a phone number, or go online.  Give your audience a number of choices on where to go next that makes it easy for them, and ensure that you are giving enough space on your advertising for the call to action to stand out.

You don’t want your audience to see an advertisement, have it resonate with them, compel them to purchase or find out more, but then have no set direction for them to take.


5.  Urgency

Creating a sense of urgency will increase your response rate and maximise your marketing.  You can create urgency in your headline, in the body copy of your advertisement, or in your call to action.

You can utilise and promote offers to increase your conversion rates as well as to increase response rates.  By putting a ‘use by’ date, or ‘limited time only’ tagline with your offer, you will create urgency and give you as big a chance as possible to have your audience respond to your advertising.


If you need some help with creating or delivering a direct marketing campaign, we’d love to talk and help!

6 Tips To Write A Great Creative Brief

Just as every journey starts with a single step, any successful marketing campaign starts with a brief.  Generally, a marketing and creative brief is something you would speak to an agency about over the phone, in person, or in writing. They would then respond with some general ideas, and then you combine to execute.  

The creative brief at the inception of a campaign is when the project is at it’s most delicate, and without the proper attention, could end up derailing the whole campaign.  Like anything, failing to prepare is preparing to fail.  

Here are our top six tips to get the most out of your creative brief:

1. Dedicate Time

Time is money.

Try spending 5 minutes writing a brief, and then spend 30 minutes re-writing the same brief.  The response to brief that your agency delivers will be completely different, but the proof is in the pudding.

In a world where we seem to be getting busier and busier, taking 30 minutes out of our day or putting aside to write a creative brief can seem excessive, but if you do, you will be rewarded with an agency that doesn’t need to guess what you’re thinking, and an idea that is highly executable and inspiring.

A well thought out, accurate, information rich brief provides a creative agency with the objectives, vision, and key messages that a piece of communication or a campaign should deliver.

2. Insight is Gold

Data is heavy, insight is rich.

Information on your product/service, reasons behind the campaign and specifically your target market all provide important boundaries and background for your agency.

Insight into your target market and those consumers you are trying to reach will give the creative more focus around the ideas generated, the messaging used, and the recommendations on how the marketing can fit the media.

Should your brief contain as much background information as possible, the marketing creative will more than likely be closer to your initial vision, will resonate with your market, and should need less changes than otherwise intended – saving you time and money!

3. Detailed Objectives

A focused brief will provide focused ideas.

If a brief is put together with little thought or focus, the result will be reflective of that. The recipients of a creative brief are not only the account team who the clients deal with on a day to day basis and understand your vision, but many other stakeholders in the process who do not know you.

Primary and secondary objectives not only help an understanding of the ‘why’ around the campaign, but provide clarity around the ‘what’, and gives quantitative and qualitative measurement that can be used to determine the success of the campaign.

4. Proposition is Key

Differentiation is the reason you exist.

The proposition is the single most important message you want your campaign to deliver.  Determining a key proposition is either something that you as a client can provide, or that your agency can provide based on your brief.

You may have multiple propositions but only one should be used in your campaign.

They can be discovered through a creative process once you have determined product or brand truths relevant to the campaign. This truth is then expanded upon as you take and explore that further giving it context and wider meaning, which finally then allows you to take that final statement and turn that into a creative idea.

5. Detail Requirements

The ‘How’

By detailing your requirements of the campaign you provide focus on how the campaign idea is to be used and allows your agency to context their idea around that.

Whether you are after a large ‘Above the Line’ idea that needs to resonate with large volumes of people, a more direct idea using targeted marketing, or simply a press advertisement in a niche publication, stating in the brief your requirements for the campaign will allow the agency to flex the idea through different variations and media.

As well as naming primary requirements, you could also mention possible other uses of the idea, i.e. social, online, search etc, however most agencies will also give you ways you can present your idea that you may not have thought of.

6. Be Excited

If you aren’t excited by your campaign, who will be?

Brief writing should not be seen as a chore, but as an enjoyable process.  A chance for you to embrace your inner creative and really feel the campaign, and get under the skin of what you are doing.

Agencies can tell when a brief has had effort put into it, it is reflected in the writing which will exude passion and energy, which in turn rubs off onto the creative team.

If you’re excited by the brief, so will they be.  If you show no interest, the writing seems rushed, and there’s minimal information, the creatives will probably deliver something uninspiring, low on detail, and completely ‘off brief’.


Writing a creative brief provides a skeleton and structure allowing anyone working on the campaign to remember that initial vision, and as a guiding compass to make sure you don’t go off-piste!

If you need assistance in writing a marketing brief, or developing a campaign for your business and one of it’s products or services, let us know – we will be glad to help!

5 Questions To Establish Your Target Market

It’s interesting to hear the amount of times we have asked clients, ‘Who is your target market?’ and they have responded with either ‘everyone’, or ‘I don’t know’. It’s absolutely imperative to understand who you’re appealing to, in order to ensure that your marketing isn’t wasted and is leveraged to its full potential.

Only by answering some key questions about your target market will you be able to engage and communicate with your audience in a relevant manner.

If you can’t define who your target market is, the following questions will get you on your way.

1. Why Do I Need It?

In order to pry you away from tasks that seem more important for the day to day running of your company it’s imperative to understand why you need to invest time in research and insight.

A clear understanding of your target market will give you the tools to manage the communications and the media channels that you can use in your marketing strategy.  Primarily, you should understand your audience’s needs, wants, and how your product or service can benefit them.

Insight will also determine whether you need to create a brand campaign to generate awareness of your company, or a direct marketing campaign to increase your conversion rate.

2. Who Do I Target?

You will only ever be after two types of audience – people that have interacted and purchased your product (Existing Customers), and those that haven’t (Prospects).  It’s important to distinguish what and how you communicate to each audience, as your strategy will have different objectives for each.

If you don’t have any existing customers, you will certainly have an understanding of who you think they are, but to be effective you need to know who they are.  Get in front of your prospects whenever and however you can.  For clients in the past we have attended industry events, as well as cold calling, to survey and gather as much knowledge as we could.

Your existing customers provide a fertile environment to gather an understanding of your target market.  Working with one of our clients previously, the first thing we did was contact their existing customers with a short survey to paint a picture of who our clients existing audience was.

3. How Do I Get Insight?

Execution of the research is the most painstaking, but the most beneficial.  If you have existing customers you can use online surveys such as Polldaddy or Survey Monkey to create free online surveys and then send that to your customers asking about their experience.  If you have email addresses of existing customers or prospects, use these to send your online surveys out.  If you manage a number of social networks, advertise your online survey link and get the message out as much as you can.

To increase participation, you could offer a reward for participating in the survey, for example a financial or percentage discount off their next purchase, if it’s a wide ranging industry survey you could offer to provide them the results before publicising.

Industry events are not only a great way to meet influential people in your industry, but a chance to also meet potential customers.  We have previously had our team attend a clients networking event and we were able to capture relevant information on the people at the event for them.  Out of this, we were able to provide a greater level of detail around how, where, and what our client should be marketing.

4. What Do I Capture?

Before you even think about the questions to ask, you need to first determine what your objectives are, what is it that you want answered once you have all the results of your surveys? Should your questions focus on the demographics, psychographics, product or service, or potentially a mix of all?

Demographics provide a skeleton and an outline of your target market.  It contains general information such as age, gender, locality, education status, marital status.  Questioning deeper, include questions around their job title, employment status, and remuneration.

If demographics are an outline sketch of your target audience, psychographics are the colour between the lines.  Questions as far ranging from what newspaper they read, to what sports or the arts are they interested in, to what social media they use regularly will paint a picture of your audience

The real answer to a lot of your marketing questions will be around your product/service and how it impacts them, what benefits they see true value in, would they purchase again or recommend to a friend, did it meet expectations, and other questions to give you really informative feedback on how you should present your communications.

5. When Do I Get Insight?

Data is heavy, but insight is rich.  Once you have received and analysed your data, the insight that you pull out of it should paint a picture of your audience.   You will find recurring answers for each question set and from this you can start to develop ‘pen portraits’, or profiles of what a ‘typical’ customer looks like.

You will be able to start to group and collate a lot of the data into clusters and groups, and from this, drilling into the information you will find a number of customer segments that are ripe to target.  You should have an understanding of marketing messages, media channels, features, benefits, and even offers that may be applicable that will either enhance your branding or your direct marketing campaign.


If you need some insight or pen portraits of your target market, speak to us today!


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