Veganuary, RED, Dry January and beyond...

Well 2019 is definitely upon us and how many New Year resolutions are still holding firm?  Did you manage Veganuary? RED January or Dry January?  And if so, will you take these habits forward to be a better you throughout the year?

Here at Antelope, we love a focus month/week/day – whether it’s helping heighten awareness like Mental Health Awareness Month or Fairtrade Fortnight or something fun like National Pet Day or British Pie Week.  However, we are also about long term strategies and helping companies build brands that have longevity and long term success.

 Who’s in your gang?

To generate long term success we believe you need to understand exactly who you are appealing to, what makes them tick and why you want to be in their gang.  Put simply, know your target audience.  You could decide you have four or five different audiences or maybe just one primary one. But whether you focus in on one particular one or broaden across a number of audiences you need to respect these audiences and remember they are the litmus test of your product or service.

 Getting to know you

Once you have identified who might be in your target audiences, learning a bit more about them is key – where they hang out (digitally, physically, metaphorically), and who with, what interests them, what they read and watch, what they like and don’t like can help you understand their motives to engage and how your brand might fit into their lives.

 Are you talking to your granny or your bff?

So now you know who your audiences are and what they are interested in, you need to establish tailored communications strategies for each audience. Hopefully you will have a company vision, values and purpose, so how do these relate to your individual audiences? Is it a more mature audience you are talking to? If so use language and references appropriate to this audience to describe the benefits of your product or service. Is it a peer? Think how you might talk to your audience in real life and translate this into your coms strategy.

If you are looking to run a media campaign think of the target publications and websites and who their readers are. Look at messaging appropriate to their audiences. So, if you provide services for older people, write about tenants when talking to housing media, service users for care publications and patients for medical media.

 Step into their shoes

Remember you are trying to target customers that might not have been customers for a while or are new customers. Think what it is about your brand that helps them solve a problem or that might appeal to them. Telling them you are the No 1 choice healthcare provider is meaningless. Telling them you can support elderly and vulnerable adults in the community through a network of personal carers and nurses immediately identifies their need and tells them what you offer to support this need.

Take the POEM approach

Ensure you communicate with your customers in the right place.  Targeting teenagers through the broadsheets generally isn’t a great strategy. Placing an ad for the over 80s in the App store probably isn’t going to raise awareness with a more mature audience.

Don’t jump onto the bandwagon

Back to the themed promotional days.  An awareness campaign can be a brilliant way to get people thinking about your brand or service and engaging them in fun activity along the way. However, choose your bandwagons carefully – be authentic to your values and your mission. Valentine’s Day hand wash says nothing about love. However, love hearts sweets in a tin can just about get away with it. Promoting RED January if you are the British Heart Foundation yes, even if you are a chiropodist, but on the back of a cereal packet? We’re not so sure.

If you really want to be around post Veganuary, into Valentines Day, past Spring and Easter, into the May Day Madness, through the Summer Deals, into September Back to School, October Halloween, Bonfire Night shananigans and into the festive period, you need to take a serious approach to your marketing strategy.