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I was speaking to the children of a neighbor recently, and I asked them if they had ever been to a circus. I mentioned the animals, the clowns, popcorn, peanuts, soft drinks, and taffy apples. That’s when the fun began. Their father and I were astounded when the lid came off the jar.
The discussions that ensued, sometimes multiple and concurrently as to the need to go, the desire to go, how old does one have to be, why should they want to go, can we go now was deafening. There were questions about how it could possibly be fun with all the noise, smells, and scary faces of the clowns got tossed around too.
What is the reason for even thinking about going to the circus? The questions of why it is important to see one, or what the heck is a circus (a three-year-old tossed her hat in the ring). The din was actually moving from distracting to scary, as the pitch heightened with each competing voice. So many questions, both pro, and con, along with what’s and why’s.
That’s when it hit me. This was just like getting ready to create a marketing campaign and preparing all the marketing assets. There were more questions than people usually consider. Crafting a message to an ideal client can sometimes be just like taking the kids to the circus. At least planning to.
What I mean is that there are all sorts of questions to ask before crafting the first words of such a message. Are you targeting the right individuals? Who is your ideal audience, your Avatar?
Why is getting this message to them essential in their eyes? Do they even know that you should be talking (writing, speaking, live, in print, digitally, on video or audio, etc.) to them?
What do you know about them that makes them the perfect recipient of your message, offer, or query? Does it hold any value within it
What are you offering them that can make a positive impact on their lives? Or will it turn out like the response from the children when I inquired about going to the circus?
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Do you know what you plan to communicate if and when you actually define your target audience? Have you crafted the message so you can eliminate questions from their mind (like all those questions from the kids)? Are you addressing something lacking in their business or personal life?
You see, the preparation of a marketing message and the means by which to get it to them is far more critical at the beginning of the project than the actual performance of the physical tasks to make it so.
Projecting the hoped-for outcomes as well as the possible adverse outcomes, must be highly weighed. Messaging for the sake of messaging is not a very good idea. It’s a lot like asking kids if they want to go to the circus.
Without thorough planning, identifying all of the components of the campaign (market, message, media) as well as the metrics to determine the success or lack thereof, you might as well eat taffy apples and talk to clowns.