As marketers, we tend to be eager to jump straight into the creative process whilst grazing over and sometimes even skipping the most important part of the campaign: the research. Before you even think about starting the planning process, you must undertake extensive research into the business you are creating the campaign for. 

To create the most effective strategy for your campaign it is important that you and the client can see and understand the research that’s been undertaken and how that will shape your future marketing strategy. 

Here are four main tools that you should include in your research pack that will form the foundation of your campaign:

1. Positioning Statment

A great positioning statement is a succinct expression of your market position. One that is externally focused, describes your target customer and the primary benefits to them. It also references the competition and answers the question, why should your customers buy from you? 

The position of your product/service is established by: 

  • Defining the product
  • Highlighting the target market
  • Documenting market problems
  • Defining your key features and benefits

From this information, you can then go on to create the statement from this information.

2. Persona Profiling

Effective customer profiling is at the heart of every great campaign. Once we understand your target customer, we lay the foundation for the strategic elements of the campaign. The persona profile is essentially the profile of the target buyers of your product/service. It represents the demographic, financial and psychological aspects of the client’s potential customers.

Campaign Research carried out on a phone or tablet

By dividing the persona into 4 sections you can identify everything you need to know about the persona you’re targeting and how to direct your campaign towards them

  • Background – This includes their position in the buyer’s place of work, their education, professional background and the location they’re based in
  • Situation – This identifies their highest priorities for their place of work, and their pain points allowing you to form your campaign around the ways that the client can solve the buyer’s problems 
  • Habits and Behaviours – This is an important element as it tells you where the customer is most likely to receive their media consumption and conduct research, allowing you to target them directly and efficiently
  • Decision – This determines the customers buying power within their company and how they will inevitably go about purchasing your client’s product or service

3. Buying Process Stages

Once we know a bit more about your buyers, the next step is to look at your sales & marketing processes in context to each stage of their journey. The buyer’s journey is the stages your buyers go through when they; discover, consider & evaluate, then decide to purchase a new product or service from you. There are 5 stages of the process you must identify:

  • Need – Identification of problem or opportunity
  • Discovery – Search for solutions to problems and/or opportunities
  • Consideration – Assessment of alternatives and gather detailed information about solutions
  • Decision – Purchase the right product/service that satisfies the need
  • Review – Did the purchase accomplish its objective and were any risks realised?

4. Message Mapping

Message mapping is the process of identifying the messages that are the most effective, credible, and will resonate more with your audience, using the criteria and definitions below:

  • Memorable – Is this message one that will be easily recalled and remembered?
  • Aligned with Strategy – How aligned with corporate strategy is this message?
  • Consistent with Positioning – Does this message stay consistent with the positioning statement?
  • Objective – Is this message objective in nature? Does it avoid being too sensational and playing on emotions?
  • Believable – Will this message be readily accepted and believed to be true?
  • Fluffy – Does this message contain marketing hyperbole such as claims of being ‘world-class’ or other lofty ideals?
  • Trendy – Does this message hit on a topic of keen interest or trends of the moment?
  • Impact – How impactful is this message? Is it something people care about or will consider?
  • Relevant – Is this message extremely relevant to the target audience for your product/service?

These tools should give you a great head start when it comes to starting the creative, campaign planning and enable to you create a campaign that gives the client and their customers exactly what they’re looking for.