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There I was, sitting with our marketing team brainstorming content ideas for 2017.
“What can we do differently to increase traffic to our website?” said Jen, our head of marketing.
After several minutes of buzzword vomit and some awkward silences, I finally spoke up.
“Why don’t I write a bi-weekly column?”
Well, here we are. My inaugural column.
I hadn’t quite figured out what I wanted to talk about when I first volunteered, but as it sank in, I realized — I have over five years of experience in digital marketing. I graduated with a marketing degree and subsequent MBA.
I get marketing.
I mean, I better get marketing. After all, I invested several years of my life and most of my savings learning the trade.
So, why not talk about what I know best?
“The Marketing Minute” will be a bi-weekly column that looks at trending events and stories around the world from the marketer’s vantage point. My goal is to take something that has happened recently in the news and provide some marketing takeaways that are applicable to many businesses.
Without further ado.
I don’t typically watch award shows like the Golden Globes, and this time was no different. I did make it through Jimmy Fallon’s intro (shout out Justin Timberlake) and monologue, but turned the channel soon after.
A few hours later, I made my way to Twitter and saw Meryl Streep trending (not something I’m accustomed to). Of course, I investigated.
I saw that Meryl Streep won a lifetime achievement Globe. In her acceptance speech, she took to addressing an issue that she was obviously passionate about – her disdain for president-elect Donald Trump.
In case you just woke up from a coma, here are a few quick links to get you caught up on Meryl Streep’s Golden Globe speech.
This was no random act. This was a premeditated “marketing” strategy by Ms. Streep. She understood the impact her message could have in the right context and the Golden Globes was it. On stage at the award show was the perfect medium to generate the buzz and attention that she wanted. Of course, the perfect platform means nothing without a good message. Hers was one that obviously resonated with the audience and many others throughout the country.
Whether or not you agree with her message, you have to admit she was effective. Very rarely do you hear mention of an award speech following an event. The media pick-up of her speech is unprecedented.
I glean a few things from the success of Ms. Streep’s speech.
First, she found a platform that would optimize her message. The communication process requires a sender, message, channel, receiver, feedback, and context. Each stage of the process is important, but the channel is arguably the most critical. The channel is the precipice of the communication process and is where the message meets the audience. On stage at the Golden Globes, in front of hundreds of celebrities and being viewed by millions of Americans across the country was the perfect channel or platform for Ms. Streep.
As a marketer, you should focus on the channels, platforms, and mediums from which you choose to deliver your message. This could include email, social media, your website, billboards, tradeshows, television, or any of the other communication methods. It is important not to stay complacent with your communication strategy. This includes the channels or platforms you use.
Take SnapChat for instance. This is a relatively new communication medium and many businesses have been hesitant to use it. After all, not all marketers see the value of an expiring ad – and many don’t even know how to use the app. However, it’s one of the fastest growing communication applications and is the most-used social media platform among 12 to 24-year-olds. If this sounds like your target audience, you need to seriously consider using SnapChat as a channel to deliver your marketing message.
Examples like these are everywhere. Marketers must not be afraid to try new channels or platforms and must invest time learning the channels they use and iterating their strategies.
Not only was the channel perfect for Ms. Streep, but she also delivered a powerful message (albeit a controversial one) to a relevant audience. Both the message and receiver are important parts of the communication process and Ms. Streep’s speech highlights both areas.
Secondly, to garner the best results for your marketing message, you need to first look at your target audience. Carefully learning whom you are communicating to is an important step in building a marketing campaign. A great message on the perfect platform has no chance if there isn’t an attentive audience ready to receive the message.
To understand your audience, first look at your current client base. Ask questions to your current and previous clients to help better understand the people or businesses that use your product/service. Look at the social channel and on-site engagement that you can find on your competitors and industry publishers. Build customer profiles to reflect your findings and use that information to help frame your marketing message.
Lastly, there is a lot I could talk about with regards to the message itself, but the one thing I think is critical is that this wasn’t an impromptu speech – this was a deliberate and carefully executed message. Marketers should take that same diligence when crafting their targeted messages. This was Ms. Streep’s 9th Golden Globe award, so she has had many opportunities to communicate with this audience on that platform.
Undoubtedly, she used her experience from previous award speeches and information from what worked and didn’t to frame her message. Marketers need to follow suit.
Most businesses send emails, Tweets, posts, direct mail, and other forms of communication every day, but they don’t take time to learn the medium and iterate their messages. The copy that works on your website might not be the same copy that works in a direct mailer. Look at what worked and didn’t work in the past, see what your competitors are doing, and I beg you, please double check your grammar.
Meryl Streep had an acceptance speech to remember. Whether or not you agree with the actual message, there’s no denying she made a calculated choice to craft and deliver a message to a targeted audience on an effective platform.
As a marketer, I can appreciate her strategic decisions. I’ll leave the interpretation of her message to others.