Consistent messaging is key for your brand.
How can you ensure an integrated marketing campaign truly integrated? Make sure your message is on track and consistent.
I think we all know how important a consistent message is to be effective in an integrated marketing campaign. It’s understood, it’s imperative and it is effective. But I wanted to research the topic to find out if there are success stats behind the idea of ensuring your marketing resonates as a result of a consistent message and brand platform. And I found this…
The Marketing Genius of Taylor Swift
“Her music may not be for everyone, but the marketing genius of Taylor Swift should not go unadmired. The alignment of her marketing message is a marvel: every move is a carefully calculated one meant to increase fan loyalty. Swift has as she’s transitioned from country darling to pop star and it’s thanks to her consistent marketing message and image.
Determine Your Audience
Accurately identifying your audience is the first and most important step to ensuring messaging consistency. A poorly identified audience leaves stakeholders (both internal and external) with content and communication gaps that will inevitably be filled on the spot. Such last-minute messaging is one of the primary culprits that can lead to the creation of mixed messages or even messaging that contradicts your mission or intent.
Develop Three to Four Primary Messages
Developing three or four primary approved messages. This gives your integrated marketing team the ability to select the most appropriate one for a particular medium. This is one reason why identifying the appropriate audience—or, in some cases, audiences—is so important. Flexibility is essential for communicating with multiple audiences and through multiple mediums while maintaining consistency.
Make the Messages Clear
An ambiguous or unclear message can ruin the effectiveness of any communication piece. Ensure that it is written with proper grammar and punctuation. Don’t make the messages too complex or difficult to read; you don’t want to alienate your audience.
This is a difficult element to monitor internally. It might be a good idea to go outside the organization and test to ensure your messages convey the same overall personality. For example, if you want to portray a young, hip personality, then the messages created need to have a young, hip tone. Likewise, if your audience is older and tends to be highly educated, the language and tone of the message needs to match the speech and persona of that audience.
Deliver Messages in a Consistent Format
Format is the path of how your audience receives the message. It isn’t the medium, which refers to e-mail, direct mail, or television. For example, if a personal story about how your company has made a difference in someone’s life is the format used to deliver the organization’s mission statement, then stick with it – the personal story is an example of the mission being fulfilled, so the path is consistent. Using a consistent format doesn’t mean organizations should use the same story over and over. Add elements to the story or use different personal stories to make the communications appealing while still bringing the audience to the primary message.
Repeat the message over and over in all channels. When creating a piece of collateral, start with the message and work your way back. Don’t let a piece of communication go out without having your primary message mentioned in, if not the focus of, it.
Develop an Internal Communication Plan
It is important to make sure that everyone in your company is on board and understands the primary messages. Every employee who is working on the integrated marketing campaign – whether collateral, events, or promotions—should be able to identify the messages and be able to use them without reservation. This will help ensure consistent messaging across mediums.
Gather Internal Feedback
Make sure that messages are understood and accepted by all employees. They are the people who will be conveying your messages. Employees should be able to take a message and make it their own. Also, don’t be afraid to get employees’ and feedback about the effectiveness or accuracy of a message. Sometimes, they have the best idea of how the audience will react.
Appoint a Messaging Monitor
Most companies have someone who is responsible for branding. Although implied in this duty, messaging is frequently forgotten. It is amazing what can happen when someone is held accountable for a particular element. Identifying and appointing a qualified person to check specifically for messaging inconsistencies is another way an organization can ensure that it conveys the same message at all times.
Remember—messaging is a core component of your brand. Your identity and your message work together to convey who your company is, what you stand for, what you do and how you create value for your stakeholders. It is what makes an integrated marketing campaign truly integrated.