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Effectively targeting the modern customer
Today's consumers are educated, busy and less and less brand-loyal. If you try to run a campaign that isn't integrated across all of your media platforms, you run the risk of confusing potential customers, causing them to search for another option that is more available or requires less processing. To solve this, you need to consider a completely integrated communications plan (ICP). At my company, CPI, we restructured our marketing efforts to implement an ICP so our message is consistent throughout our advertising media.
First we determined our target customer. Then we did research to find out where our target market is. We found out when, where, and how they are getting their news and information. We learned what time of day they watch television, what publications they read, and what roads they travel. We want to spend our advertising dollars in places where our customers are already spending time. It is our job to reach them, rather than hope they reach us. For instance, farmers are early risers, so if we run a television ad, we have to air it very early in the morning, over the lunch hour, and late at night if we want it to be seen by the farming community.
We found our audience consumes a lot of their information in print, so in addition to advertising in existing print publications, we also created our own magazine that is directly mailed to our customers. This way, we ensure farmers can get their information directly from us.
Another way we have educated our customers is through "Growing Season," a docudrama about the Bartaks, a farming family from Anselmo, Nebraska. Consumers like to have a story they can relate to, and "Growing Season" was just that. Through documenting the lives of these farmers, CPI has been able to show their brand in action and reach out to more customers who like the fan-based culture of reality television.
Another crucial element is consistency. At CPI, our advertising with television, radio, print, social media and website all use the same font, colors, and voice. By doing this, each time a customer sees our ads, they instantly recognize it as CPI's. We have eliminated the risk of losing our audience due to brand confusion.
They see the ad and know it's from us. Our voice in our ads is also the same and flows across all our platforms, so the viewer fully understands our message without having to translate it. This effort has allowed our busy and educated audience to receive our message quickly and without confusion. Our target market is now better engaged with our ads and what we are selling. They know our brand and trust our message.
To emerge in today's crowded marketplace, your business must try to apply an ICP. A solid plan will improve your brand recognition, and the trust your current and potential customers have in you will increase as well.
Anthony is the advertising director at CPI where he is in charge of campaigns for all of the CPI brands. He is a 2012 graduate of Hastings College.
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