3 Phases of Marketing Outreach
First, the words of Seth Godin, from his blog:
Marketing outreach (ads, PR, sponsorships, etc.) is not about one thing. It’s about three things.
Awareness is a simple ping: Oh, she’s running for President. Oh, they just opened one in our neighborhood. Oh, they’re having a sale.
Trust is far more complicated. Trust comes from experience, from word of mouth, from actions noted. Trust, amazingly, also seems to come from awareness. “As seen on TV” is a perverse way to claim trust, but in fact, when people are more aware of what you do, it often seeps into a sort of trust.
And action is what happens when someone actually goes and votes, or buys something, or shows up, or talks about it. And action is as complex as trust. Action requires overcoming the status quo, action means that someone has dealt with the many fears that come with change and felt that fear and still done something.
Many people reading this are aware that they can buy a new mattress, and might believe it’s worth the effort, but don’t take action.
Many people reading this are aware that they can buy a tool, get some treatment, visit a foreign land, listen to a new recording… but action is the difficult part.
Action is quite rare. For most people, the story of ‘later’ is seductive enough that it appears better to wait instead of leaping.
As a marketer, then, part of the challenge is figuring out which of the three elements you need the most help with, and then focus on that…
I recall when I entered the marketing and advertising world, we used to build campaigns that were multiple-step campaigns, similar to what Seth mentioned. We actually called the steps:
2. General Benefits
3. Specific Benefits
4. Re-creation Benefits
The concept was to take a number of weeks and draw our radio listeners through the process of introducing them to the new business, talking about what the business did overall, then do individual ads on specific reasons for customers to spend money with the business. The 4th step would apply if we were to discover a new way for the business to make money. Like the time we transformed a rental car agency into a nearly new car dealer.
Due to consumer media habits that have changed tremendously in the past dozen years, we need to apply these steps differently. Instead of taking a marketing or advertising campaign through the steps to the masses, we now need to figure out how to do it to the individual.
I may watch a TV series as it is delivered every Sunday night at 9pm. But I have friends who will wait until the season is over and then binge watch the whole season one week this summer.
And while it is important to have structure to your advertising campaign, don’t forget that there are people who need what you are selling right now, while others may not be in the market for another couple years.
How do you market with so many variables? I have fine tuned some of these systems and watched them work successfully in the past couple years. It really needs to be customized for each business and even though the elements are similar, the implementation needs to be tweaked for you.
It’s not as complicated as it sounds if you know what you’re doing, and that’s where I come in.
Want help? Reach out to me.