Tuesday, June 20, 2006

 

Creating a customer-centric media plan

If you don't already follow the work of the Word of Mouth Marketing Association (WOMMA), you should. They are pioneers in understanding how to amplify the kind of brand and product evangelism that's existed among consumers for generations, but just now is being harnessed and accelerated by smart marketers.

I'm attending WOMMA's Basic Training Conference this week (my cup runneth over with blog posts to come), but one of the things this conference has already reinforced for me is the importance of building a marketing or media plan based on customers, not channels.

Too often, media plans are built based on a set of marketing channels leveraged to communicate to a set of current or prospective customers. The resulting plan is then inherently channel based, in that it tells us exactly how to use television, radio, online, print, etc. to communicate said message to said customer.

But marketing, at its core, isn't about any particular set of channels. It's about the customer. It's about what they want, what they need, what will make their lives easier and/or better.

Media plans should start with a heavy dose of how target consumers operate - what motivates them, who they influence, and what they're passionate about. Consumers don't compartmentalize their time based on channel. From a consumer perspective, it's really just one big experience. Their interaction with brands aren't thought of in terms of online vs. offline, radio vs. television, even advertising vs. organic evangelism.

With a deeper understanding of the needs, motivations and passions of our customer, far more efficient and effective marketing strategies can be developed that mobilize your customers to action and evangelism.

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