“key·word (ˈkēˌwərd) noun a word or concept of great significance”
This is the second article in a two-part series about the keywords and phrases that are critically important to bolster your personal development and success as a marketer. Part-1 covered 5-keywords and phrases. This issue of DISPATCHES covers the remaining 5. Keep in mind that the keywords and phrases are not listed in any particular order.
Keywords and Phrases
As a refresher the keywords and phrases appearing in Part 1 are:
- Differentiate to Thrive
- Create Impact
The remaining keywords and phrases are:
6. Be Single-Minded – To be (more) successful we need to be single-minded. Virtually every client creative brief we review violates this proven principle. Andy Langer, Chief Creative Officer at Roberts and Langer Advertising Agency likes to dramatize this principle in talks he gives. He’ll throw out one tennis ball for someone to catch. Following a successful catch, he’ll throw out a few tennis balls at the same time to the same person. The result is the balls are fumbled and fall to the floor. The conclusion is that you can easily catch one ball but not multiple balls when thrown out at the same time. In fact, most times the person won’t catch even one. What this means is that your creative resource team will not be able to develop a compelling Campaign Idea if they are being directed to execute against multiple benefits. And if your communications don’t contain a Campaign Idea it is highly improbable that they will have impact in the marketplace. (And, don’t even think of stashing product benefits in the reason-why section!)
The communication itself, in the form of the Campaign Idea, must also be single-minded. The Campaign Idea is comprised of three parts: the Naked Idea, which is the creative concept; the Key Copy Words, which state the strategic benefit in compelling customer language; and Core Dramatization, typically
a visualization of the benefit or problem to be resolved. All three parts need to work together to deliver a single-minded message. Just as creative personnel executing the strategy cannot catch multiple tennis balls when thrown at the same time neither can the target-customer.
7. Dramatize – This is about capturing target-customer attention, gaining interest in our brand, creating desire for it and driving action (AIDA). It goes beyond telling and selling to compelling customers to choose your brand. The dramatization helps the target-customer realize your benefit promise. They don’t merely hear words, they feel it. As Maya Angelou said, “People may forget what you say but they will never forget how you made the feel.” Dramatization makes people, your target-customers, feel.
Also look for the drama in your brand. Clinical study results typically evidence that the proposed drug or product works. Okay, so what? We know these products work otherwise the FDA (or other regulatory bodies) would not approve them. But what is the one nugget that is most impressive? What is the WOW factor in the clinical findings or the HCP and/or patient or consumer experience? Go for it! And communicate it in a way that leads the target- customer to feel it.
8. Drive Customer Behaviors – We don’t win or retain customers without generating a behavior. Our development of strategies and tactics must all work to trigger behaviors. Once we achieve the behavior we ring the cash register. It’s that simple (but, admittedly, not always easy). We start by identifying SMART behavior objectives. The acronym is for Specific (i.e., switching, adoption,
etc.), Measureable (requires quantification of expectations), Achievable (we can do it!), Relevant (it will lead the achievement of business objectives of sales, market share and profit targets) and Timebound (i.e., within a specific time period). Ask yourself the following questions before you propose a marketing tactic of any kind:
— What behaviors will this generate with our target-customer?
— What will this translate to cases or scripts (or however you measure sales)?
— What does it mean in topline incremental dollar sales (or your relevant currency)?
— What is the impact on the achievement of our business objectives? (Make sure you measure impact against your expectations – including ROI!).
9. Be Competitive – We think far too many marketing organizations are content to get their “fair share” of the market, whatever that means. The successful marketer achieves far more than her/his fair
share. S/he is in it to win. S/he is not content unless s/he is exceeding sales target, gaining share and achieving a leadership position in an important market segment. While Apple does not have the leadership position in the laptop computer market they have dominated the segment of laptops selling for more than $1,000. In fact, they’ve achieved greater than a 90% share in this highly profitable segment.
We witness far too many organizations focusing on entering markets when launching new products. What they seem to be overlooking is competing to become the preferred brand of target-customers. Critical competitive activities such as brand positioning and high impact communications are an afterthought as opposed to a must to win and retain customers.
By the way, it doesn’t matter what hand you’ve been dealt with the brand you are managing. That’s not a valid excuse. Your job is to leverage the asset to exceed expectations and maximize brand performance. We need to identify what it would take to be (more) competitive.
10. Be Choiceful – Well, we could share more than 10-keywords or phrases. There’s curiosity, iterate your way to success, leverage the collective wisdom of the extended management team, conducting pre-mortems and war gaming, oppositioning, among many others. But with all things we need to make choices. Every client organization we work with stresses the importance of making choices. Yet so few are willing to actually make them. Identify them – yes. Make them – no. It’s why they pursue multiple target- customer segments, pursue multiple benefits in their Communication Strategy, have multiple themes within their Positioning Strategy, load-up on reason-why support, create to-do lists that strain resources and obfuscate priorities and on and on and on. So, we’ve chosen to end it here!
Which of the aforementioned keywords and phrases will help you be more successful? Are there others that you deem more important? Choose your top three and put them to work for you.
Best wishes in bolstering your success as a marketer,
Richard Czerniawski and Mike Maloney