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Should we add messaging to the creative brief

April 6, 2008

Marketing is about messaging. It’s about figuring out the message, and then getting it to the people who are most likely to act favorably on that message. Nothing new about that.

Our creative briefs contain all the necessary elements for doing this successfully. They have target market. They have a unique selling proposition. But would adding messaging tools right under the brief help us?

Messaging between people used to happen in person, or over the phone. Yes, these are also called conversations, but for the purpose of this, we’ll continue to call them messaging. They might have been about the minutia of the day, as in the case of the 12-year-old girl. Or they might simply have been a way to connect, as in the case of the classic watercooler conversations about the previous night’s Cosby Show or that ad for Apple.

Then along came the computer and networks.

Now, for a second, consider the tool one can use for messaging:

Instant Messaging within e-mail (in the case of Yahoo Mail)
Blogging (this post is a message)
Skype, video messaging and text, as well as conference calls
Facebook Status or simple profile updates
MySpace profile updates or blogs
Comments on social media (a comment on a YouTube video of a Flickr image)
Shopping or marketing updates (actions that come into a Facebook News Feed)
Text messaging (sms)

And that’s just the beginning. I didn’t throw out kml files in google earth, or images in google Earth. Indeed, if you look on Google Earth in my neighborhood, you’ll see photos my wife has taken uploaded there. This is a form of passive messaging, but messaging none the less.

So here we are. The customers or potential customers of our clients have dozens of ways to communicate with one another. They have dozens of ways to share information with each other.

As you can see, the send to a friend button on a website needs to be a little more dynamic. How exactly will they send to a friend? Will they send a tinyurl in a Twitter message?

More and more I’m convinced that as we figure out the target market, we should also figure out what media they use for messaging. The younger the target, the more likely it’s a more short form of messaging: IM, Twitter, text messages — all part of the same basic genre.

Older people are probably more into e-mail since they’ve had it for a long time. It’s a well entrenched habit.

Thus, I propose we add media used for messaging to our briefs. We can still do print ads and radio spots. But if we know what tool our target uses to message, we’ll be in their heads a lot more. And we will be able to better craft the message to our client’s want to send.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. September 2, 2008 7:49 am

    Excellent site – do keep up the good work.

  2. September 2, 2008 10:51 am

    Thanks Kathy. Sorry for taking so long to get back to you, took the long weekend off.

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