It’s an election year and with the primaries in full swing in my county, my mailbox overfloweth with postcards from candidates. They all look and sound alike with promises of fighting for me, for better education, for jobs, for better health care. In order to stand out, these political hopefuls are putting their bland messages on bigger card stock.
One of the most important and yet often most poorly thought through parts of strategic communications planning is targeting audiences. Most organizations and companies don’t delve deeply enough with their communications plan. They see their audiences as monoliths.
In the 1967 movie Bonnie and Clyde, when protagonist Clyde Barrow says, “We rob banks,” it’s more than just Warren Beatty’s braggadocio that stands out. It’s the simply clarity and outrageous truth of that brief declarative sentence. When it comes to message development, most people think they know what their message is. They’ve undoubtedly said or written it many times.
Were William Shakespeare to come back today, he might find it oddly amusing the care and marketing attention companies and organizations pay to find the right name. Companies spend hundreds of thousands of dollars and countless hours coming up with THE name–one that will help them earn big bucks, cement customer loyalty, get them attention and, in many cases, reinvigorate their brand.