by applying some basic connectionplanning principles and philosophies.
one Always springboard from the consumer, not the brand All insights should be grounded in the consumer. Only then ﬁgure out how your brand can naturally ﬁt into your customers’ world.
Let me reiterate, letthe consumer insights springboard all brand initiatives!
A little bitty about consumer insight gathering:1. Start with some hypotheses. Don’t walk in blind.2. Be open to new a-has / discoveries. Don’t be a stubborn mule.3. Make a list of questions you’d ask the consumer. Be curious.4. Start digging for insights. Take action.
Digging Tools Tip: use whatever tools you have ... no excuses. Down & Dirty Primary Research• Get out of the ofﬁce and go where they are.• Fall down the rabbit hole and embrace their online experience. Listen in on their language, the conversation topics, their social connections and explore their digital experiences.• Go meet them. Literally get up and go where they hang. Watch them, strike up a conversation, take them out for a drink. Meaty Primary Research• Ethnography (there’s absolutely nothing better than spending actual live time in the consumers’ world)• Real-time mobile research• Online surveys
Digging Tools (continued) Simmons• Understand the category user• Identify unique brand user dimensions: What makes this brand’s user different than the average category user?• Identify your acquisition target by ﬁnding others who share these unique values and have yet to use your brand. Dive in and understand what makes them tick. Secondary• Take advantage of tools like Warc, eMarketer, Yankelovich, Mintel, Trendwatching, PSFK, etc. Many tools at every price point.
two Plot the consumer’s journey The Awareness/Familiarity/Consideration/Intent/Purchasetemplated approach to the purchase process died years ago. In today’s world make sure you know the phases of the consumer journey, the triggers and pit-falls, and how torelevantly connect with your consumer across their journey.
Some tips before you start journey mapping:Start with a fresh perspective every time. Don’t use a templated consumer journey. Because most likely the template wasn’t designed with your brand or consumer in mind. Don’t be shy. Open your wallet and pay for research. Methodologies like journaling, text messages, shop alongs, prompted one-on-one journey guides.Play it out. Get some post it notes, think like the consumer and plot out the journey.
PurchasePre-Trigger Trigger During Post Purchase elements of a journey map. Trigger & Phases (What are the different phases of this brand’s consumer journey? Identify triggers.) Emotions (How does the consumer feel at each phase of the journey?) Consumer Mindset (A) (What’s s/he thinking at this phase of the journey?) Desired Behavior (B) (What do we want him/her to do at this phase of the journey?) Brand Action (How can the brand do/say to move him/her from A to B?) Media Eco-System (What media touchpoints are most inﬂuential at each phase of the journey?) Prioritize(With X $, X business objectives, X effective consumer touchpoints, etc., prioritize the journey phases.)
And when in need of inspiration head to:http://pinterest.com/mmariani/consumer-journey/ hey, everyone needs a cheap plug ...
three 365 Day Planning Shift your thinking from 360 touchpoint planning to 365 day planning. The same media ecosystem is not relevant every day of every year. Instead the media ecosystem is dictated by consumer and contextual insights that vary at different times of year. The goal is to ﬁnd ways to create relevant brand engagements throughout the year and to base these engagements on what’s happening in your consumer’s world at that speciﬁc time.
Jan April July October Dec (1) Plot Historical Sales Plot historical brand and categorical sales data across the timeline. (2) Plot Sales Goals Plot goal sales across the timeline. (3) Plot Competitive Media Spend Plot historical and expected competitive media spend across the timeline. Look for opportunity gaps. (4) Create Engagement Zones Based on how people interact with your brand and category, bucket timeframes into engagement zones (e.g. For an apparel brand i.e. Back to School/First Impressions, Holiday, Winter Solace, etc.) (5) Consumer Mindset At this speciﬁc time (aka: Engagement Zone), what is going on in his/her world as it relates to this brand/ category? Identify any frustration points. (6) Cultural Context Outside of your category, what else is going on in his/her world ... what else is ﬁghting for his/her attention? (7) Media Ecosystem What touchpoint channels are most inﬂuential or used during each Engagement Zone? (8) Brand Engagement StrategySimply articulate how your brand can have relevance in each Engagement Zone based on the Consumer Mindset and Cultural Context. (9) Brand Engagement Idea What’s the big idea for each Engagement Zone that builds into the overall campaign idea or brand positioning?
four Routinely disrupt your thinking and processes. Constantly be in evolution mode. Play with new technologies. Build on your thinking. Be open to new ideas, approaches and hypotheses. Stay curious.
ﬁve Aspire to be egoless. Know a great engagement idea can originate in anydepartment, at any level. Aspire to inspire all departments.
Thank you. Margaret Mariani @mmariani email@example.com