Not just one response, but continuous response
The long-term goal of any marketing campaign is to generate continuous, ongoing response from the various tactics–to have each work with the other to support the overall brand and message, and to create recognition in the eyes and minds of the target audiences. Recognition that will result in action … response.
Ongoing response means your investment in marketing is generating a bigger return, because you’re continuing to generate activity after the initial expense. And that’s a good thing!
The right response is the next action you want your audiences to take in the continuum that leads to a final purchase.
Some organizations want inquiries, some want application and enrollment, some want an online order, some want a purchase in the store.
Planning for that action, driving your message and brand to support that response, while clearly identifying what action your prospect should take, will increase response.
For example …
On a website, do you want someone to fill out a request form? Or do they need to click through to the next step? Is it important to keep them engaged throughout the buying process on an e-commerce website?
If you’re running a magazine ad campaign, do you want readers to call? To go online? To request information?
Are you running a direct mail campaign? Is the best response to call and order? Or to tear out a form? Or to go online for more details? Could be all of those things.
Ready for your 6 tips?
1. First, evaluate your audiences and your sales process.
Each organization has different opportunities to connect with their audiences and help them choose to move forward in the sales process. A cookie company wants their package to entice a shopper to pick it up. But a B2B company may have a number of people who need to have a say in the final buying decision–evaluate, present to a board, gain budget approval, go through purchasing or engineering.
At each stage, there is a decision point, a point of choice, where the potential buyer will decide whether to move to the next step. Understanding those audiences, their expectations and perspective, as well as what they need to know to make a choice will give you the foundation to increase response.
The cookie buyer wants to know … right now… this cookie is going to be scrumptious. How do you communicate that on the package? It’s message, it’s visuals, it’s the look and feel that will convince a hungry shopper.
But the architect that’s evaluating options for brick on a new building has a lot of homework to do, including presentations to the client, before a choice can be made. It’s important for the brick seller to provide the right information at the right time in the right format to support that decision and those presentations.
Get clear about who you are reaching and how they can and will respond. And define what you can show or provide that will support that point of choice, to generate the ongoing response that will mean success.
2. Clearly define what your audiences should do next … make it obvious and specific.
On a website use a call-to-action button rather than just a link. Restate what the user will get when they click that button. For example: Download Free Report.
In printed materials ensure your call to action is where the eye will leave the page, usually lower right. Give readers options. The rule of thumb is “the more ways there are to respond, the higher the response.” Offer a website, an email address and a toll-free number. Consider a QR code or a specific URL for a landing page.
State in step-by-step language why the visitor/prospect should take the next action. Consider their perspective, “what’s in it for me?” Restate the benefits, give them a picture of the outcome, either as a description or an actual picture. People respond to the right visuals.
3. Ensure your brand identity is memorable, recognizable and different.
It’s easy to get lost in the clutter and chaos. When prospects can’t find you or see you, you will get less response.
Does your package blend in with others on the shelf or stand out? Is your sign readable from a distance? Are your company vans generic or distinctive? Is your website hard to read or inviting and engaging? Is that ad so cluttered and full of information that it’s buried in all of the content on the page?
Consider layout, good use of white space and engaging photos. We all respond to good design. Make it work for your message and your brand.
4. Look for opportunities to be more visible where your audiences are looking.
Many consumer service companies have company vehicles–vans or trucks–that can be very effective billboards for a small investment. Instead of just putting the name on the door, use the whole vehicle to communicate and include a call-to-action. See our article on the power of vehicle graphics to build a brand.
At a trade show, does your booth stand out amongst the rest of the crowd? Do people “get it” when they glance in or walk by? Use oversized pictures or strong graphics or a giant headline to create stopping power and get the target audiences to stop and talk. Don’t fill up the booth with a lot of stuff that is confusing or looks cluttered when people walk by. Keep a focus, a dominant visual.
5. Ensure your website can be found online.
It’s basic Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and it’s good business these days. 97% of internet users start any search for goods and services online. If they are searching for what you offer, will your website come up? That’s what good SEO will do for you.
A website is an essential point of choice for any business to business organization because that’s where most people search for information. And in most cases, a B2B buying decision starts with information.
Once people find you online …
6. Make it easy to respond.
Online, use a simple form or a button to encourage response. Ensure the navigation is not confusing. Keep copy simple and straightforward. Use white space and pictures. Tell the story in words and images. Keep it focused on the user/reader, not on who you are and what you do and offer.
In recruitment materials or a direct mail piece or a brochure, follow the best practices of catalog marketers and include contact information on every spread. If you have multiple pages or spreads, you can vary the contact info … just be sure it’s always there, in front of the reader, as a constant reminder they can take action.
Just scratching the surface here …
Our brand optimization methodology is designed to generate ongoing response. By building the brand context from the audiences’ perspective, where they choose to respond, we increase response. When the brand message, positioning and identity are supported and fully leveraged at each point of choice, you’ll achieve ongoing response.
Ongoing response means a higher return for the marketing investment … and bottom line success.
Here are a few guidelines to help you better understand your audiences and the critical points of choice.
- Download Five Steps to Defining Your Audiences
- Download our Point of Choice Worksheet
- Learn why Packaging is an Important Point of Choice
Where is your most important point of choice? How have you achieved a higher response to your marketing? We would love to hear your comments and case studies!