So, communications/campaign planning. Where do you start? You begin at the beginning,with the objective.
What's the business objective you're contributing? It's best to agree that as specific return over an agreed period of time....grow sales by 5% over the next three months, increase market share by 3%, generate £x million of revenue over quarters 3 and 4.
That gives you some big questions to ask and enables you to makes some judgments on the COMMUNICATIONS TASK. Where will this share, revenue come from? What audience? How many of them will we need to involve ourselves with?
Fundamentally, are you looking to get growth from existing users or new users?
If it's existing, are you maintaining loyalty? Increasing frequency? Turning them on to new variants?
If it's new - are you wanting to spur considerers to buy? Are you wanting create consideration?
This should lead you to understand what you're really doing - increasing brand awareness, altering brand perceptions delivering new news, justifying price, encouraging trial or whatever.
When Sainsburys asked AMV to help generate £1 billion more revenue, AMV had to decide of this should come from new customers or existing. When they broke down that revenue target, they realised that all they had to do was get an extra £1 from every customer visit. £1 billion sounds terrifying, £1 pound per visit from existing customers sounds very do-able.
Carex realised a few years back they could reach share targets by getting existing users to wash wash hands more during the day.
Break down the numbers into chunks that make it real. That will give you the communications task..
Encourage existing Sainsburys shoppers to spend an extra £1 every time they visit.
Get existing users of Carex to wash their hands more
Or Nike who needed who saw that growth would come from inspiring the same loyalty in women as they did with men.
Much of this should be in the client brief, but you would be amazed at the number of briefs that leave this out.
So this leads you to the target audience. You're answering two questions:
1. To whom will the communications be addressed?
2. What do we know about them that will help us?
It's critical because you need to understand them in depth, their relationship with the product, brand and design messaging, style, experience etc accordingly. They may think the product is great, but there's a problem how they perceive the brand. They may not have heard of the brand, they may not be using the product as much they should/could.
It also matters because you need to find the right way to engage with them and, when it comes to measurement of results, doing that with the right people.
You can define them demographically (ABC1 mothers aged between 25 and 35), attitudinally (real women who like fashion but don't take it too seriously) or even behaviorally (women wish they had the time to look good everyday, but can only make the effort the beauty regime requires on special occasions).
In the end, you're looking to answer- which group (s) can we influence that is BIG enough to deliver against the business objectives.
When it comes to understanding them - core questions tend to be:
What kind of people are they? What are their lives like? It helps to imagine a typical person and bring them to life in visuals and words. This is where TGI can be useful and other big, panel surveys, - you can mix demographics, attitudes and purchase behaviour in any way you like and will quickly tell you what size of audience you're dealing with and loads of other useful stuff about media habits etc to help you engage with them.
A word on TGI and developing audience definitions though - you need to have a think first. TGI always works best if you have a hypothesis of who you're after and then use the various statements to see how big that audience might be. For example, if you're launching a mass market naturally sourced product, there's no point going after people who only buy food with no additives for example - intuitively, the audience will be too tiny. Have a think about who might be interested in your product, and what they might be interested in, and have a play. Think about TGI qualitatively and let th data prove or disprove your hunch/point.
Another thing to think about here is that you shouldn't stop with TGI generalisations. That will only get yu to a point when you know you've got an audience of the right size, interests, behaviour and attitudes. That will only get you to stereotypes, cliches and banality. This is where you need to start looking for insight - something you know about how they relate to/use th product/brand/category that no one has really addressed before.
Going back to Sainsburys, they found that their audience tended to sleepshop - stuck in rut, bored with buying the same old stuff without the tools or courage to try something different.
Honda found that they needed to make the brand interesting. Once people test drove the car, they tended to buy, but it just didn't occur to them.
Nike found that they had lost their credibility with serious athletes.
Axe found that to increase frequency, they had to inspire users to use it in the morning.
VW found that considerers wanted a Golf but compromised with a less good imitation to save money.
At it's best, this part of comms planning finds the right audience, frames the objective in terms of what you want them to do, know or feel that they don't right now and presents the opportunity then get where you need to.
A useful tool is to lay out the purchase funnel - lay out the target's unique decision process and figure out which point you can best influence. At each step, ask why someone will fail to make the transition forwards, what can communications do about it...
Read what they read, be them for the day, but at the end of the day, you can't beat going out and actually meeting them in their environment. Think about how the product/category fits into their life, or where it could fit in - work out the true culture around the category.
I really love the relaunch of Old Spice. Of course, young men spray to confidence in the mating game - but in all aspects, the try too hard. What they seek is experience, they want to be seen as experienced and to get some.Rather than macho men with something to prove. Which neatly fell into the lap of th brand - "If your grandfather hadn't used Old Spice, you probably wouldn't be here".
That will do for now, more later. Is this making sense? Useful?