Giving consumers communications options and adjusting subsequent communications based on their response is the secret to consumer marketing communication effectiveness.
These are great times for brands to truly achieve effective communication with their customers. This is primarily because brands can now measure, see, and adjust their communications based on how their audience receives and responds to those communications. Such outcomes were unattainable a few decades ago.
Now, highly successful direct to consumer campaigns have helped some brands achieve blockbuster status. Such brand campaigns effectively break through to target customers, compel customers to discuss and request brands during their next shopping exercises, and motivate customers to talk about and advocate for the brands. But the chances of a brand coming out with a blowout campaign are difficult to predict—we have seen highly promising campaigns fail, while seemingly mediocre campaigns have delivered outstanding impact and success.
Too Much at Stake
So what should advertisers do to improve the chances of effectiveness of their consumer marketing? We recommend that brands increasingly look beyond trying to “hit” the best campaign at the outset; the future of successful consumer campaigns will rely on some key empirical (i.e., evidence-based) pillars. We argue that brands that are serious about achieving consumer effectiveness must do the following:
1. Go to market with options: Creative ideas and concepts must be tested in the real world and have real customers self-select most impact options. Without options, there can be no optimization.
2. Listen empirically: Customers’ interactions are constantly giving off data expressing their preferences and perceptions. Brands have to collect and analyze the data to understand this invaluable feedback.
3. Continuously tweak: Act on the feedback to gradually edge the brands’ campaigns towards effectiveness.
Effective consumer programs are rarely born that way; most are made over the course of the campaign’s life. The combination of creative options, observing and understating user preferences, and updating the consumer campaign will increase the likelihood of actualizing a successful campaign.