Weekend Brand Brief: May 14, 2011 – Putting Your Marketing In Context

Last night before the 9:45 showing of “Bridesmaids“, my wife and I sat through the endless string of advertising that precedes the endless stream of trailers. After one of the commercials played, I saw marketing magic at work. I watched people instantly react to advertising.

It was an ad for a mobile phone company that promoted their new line of Blackberry devices and ended with a display of a cool feature that could be immediately put to use… the silent function. Around me people reached for their phones and put them on “vibrate”.

It was incredible to see the immediacy at work. People responded to the ad, and in doing so they were forced to evaluate their own mobile phone. Was it as cool as the one they had just seen advertised? Did it have all of those valuable features?  Shouldn’t they think about upgrading?

Context is absolutely vital when planning your marketing.

Four Questions To Help Contextualize Your Marketing Message

1. What will your customer be doing when they see/hear/absorb your ad? Are you creating a billboard designed to reach a commuter on the freeway or a Facebook ad for someone looking up high school friends? Very different ads.

2. Who will your customer be with when they see/hear it? Are they alone to comtemplate the message or surrounded by friends to discuss it?

3. How far away from taking action will they be? Is it an immediate click or a long drive to your store?

4. What do you want them to do? Are you looking for a click-through or are you looking to be top-of-mind in six months when they need a new big-ticket item?

PS - ”Context” is why you don’t include your phone number in your radio ads, unless your have a mnemonic phone number like 555-FAST. After all, most of your listeners are either driving or doing other things while listening to the radio. They’ll never remember your phone number. In context of a radio commercial, phone numbers are almost always a waste of time.

PPS – Great movie, by the way.

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Blackberry playbook, bridesmaids, context 1,672 Comments