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A goldfish staring at the camera

Direct Marketing Basics: What Makes Your Message Successful? [KCDMA Recap]

Last month, I attended the 2016 KCDMA Boot Camp, an annual event that covers the traditional basics of direct marketing, along with the latest trends and tools. To share everything I learned with you, I’m writing a series of blog posts. Welcome to the first installment!

You may be thinking, “So what’s with the gold fish?” Keep reading and you’ll find out…

What makes a message successful? Why is it that when you post about a promotion on social media, sometimes it goes viral and sometimes it flops? It all goes back to the basics of creating your message. Merritt Engel & Monica Tiffany of Merrigan & Co. kicked off the boot camp with a crash course in crafting an effective message.

Your message should answer:

  1. WIIFM – the “what’s in it for me?” question. The “me” in this case is your consumer. Does your message clearly state to your customers why they should care about it? Is it focused on them or you as the brand? Hint: it should be focused on them!
  2. Features vs. Benefits – whether you’re introducing a new online shopping platform or advertising a flash sale, your message should clearly state the features of your product or service, and also answer how those features benefit your customers. Make it as clear as possible. Check out how Bose did this:
    Slide 1a
  3. Strong Call to Action (CTA) – finally, every message should tell your customers what you want them to do, whether that’s to try out the online shopping platform, visit a website, use a coupon, take advantage of a sale or other action. It’s best to have one primary CTA, so customers aren’t confused. Make it easy for them to understand and execute the action. Also, start small: get your current and potential customers to say, “yes” to a small CTA. Once they do, they are more likely to say, “yes” to something bigger later.

Slide 1b

With so many of these messages coming at your consumers on television, social media, radio and more, it’s easy for information to get lost or ignored. Follow the above 3 steps and make sure your message is brief and easily digestible, because humans now have an even shorter attention span than a goldfish!

Slide 1c

All slides provided by KCDMA from the 2016 Boot Camp

Why do I work at AWG? “I work with an amazing team that values creativity and innovation. I enjoy tackling new opportunities and challenges each day that, of course, always involve food!” -Cara