More Than A Message – How You Deliver Content Matters

Marketing ‌• February 20, 2013

I’m continually amazed by marketing and messaging choices that have great intentions, are tailored to the right audience, and then go out in the absolute wrong vehicle. While I certainly think you should mix your vehicles and tactics (let’s hear it for the resurgence of direct mail!), you cannot put your main messaging effort into the wrong basket.

For example: on my drive to work yesterday, I was listening to a news piece about how the federal government is undertaking an enormous effort to move all pay-outs to be electronic versus sending paper checks. The logic is good–they can save about $1B/year and it’s more secure than mailing checks which are easier to steal and forge–but the messaging path is all wrong. Namely, they’re using a website to get the word out.

Obviously, a website makes a lot of sense. It gives the opportunity for multiple pages and contact options, an easy way to add resources, and the ability to link to all appropriate setup forms to get the desired enrollment processes completed. But then you have to pause and think about who this audience is–namely, my grandparents. Who use computers to play Solitaire.

I’m certainly not suggesting there aren’t plenty of computer superusers among this audience, but I can’t see it being the majority–especially among the group who has not already taken the initiative to streamline how they receive benefits. In fairness, the interviewee in the segment I listened to did say that they would be making personal reach-outs to continue educating and converting recipients but I had to wonder if these reach-outs were going to tell someone to go online and what that directive would achieve.

Where does your audience spend its day? Mostly in front of a computer? On the road with a mobile device? In a highly-regulated industry that probably blocks that great YouTube video you want to send?At any rate, the point of my story is that you can hit a demand gen dead-end if you’re not meeting your prospects where they are. I used to market to shop-floor managers and we once sent a successful fax-blast campaign because they frequently didn’t check in to their email but received orders all day long through their fax machines. Before you waste a lot of time and energy executing a great new messaging track, consider:

  • How does your audience like to consume information? Technical buyers might actually read that 25-page whitepaper but the marketers among us might prefer an infographic with easy-to-read/repurpose/tweet stats and charts.
  • What kinds of calls-to-action consistently work? Do landing pages lose your hand-raisers’ interest? Does a microsite work wonders? Will direct mail get you anywhere?

It’s all about getting to the right person with the right message at the right time–and then engaging them when they show interest. If you want to delve further into this topic, join us for a webinar on March 6 to learn more about how you can enable Moment-of-Interest Marketing™ for yourself.

Sam McCue
Inbound Marketing guru, avid fisherman, and all-around backcountry enthusiast.

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