As the New Year quickly approaches, I find myself thinking about resolutions. Sure I can stick to my usual goals: lose ten pounds, eat better or actually go to bed instead of watching reruns. But this year I think I will try to break a habit. I’m addicted to lip balm. It’s true. I have at least five tubes of it on me at all times. .. a couple in my purse, one on my desk, another in my pocket. I don’t even realize I’m constantly applying it anymore until someone points it out.
When I make my weekly trip to the lip balm section of the drug store, what makes me grab a certain tube? My mental index card. Every one of us is exposed to multiple brand messages a day and without realizing it, we are storing that information on little index cards in our brains. Once we are in purchase mode, we pull this information (again, usually subconsciously) from the index card and make our selection. What is written on that index card is up to the companies selling and marketing the products.
This is why it is important for companies to focus on what they are going to say, to whom they are going to say it, how are they going to say it and what they want the audience to do about it. In order to know what to write on your audience’s index cards, at the start of any marketing campaign, a discovery session should be conducted. Company execs and a pool of target audience members (both current and potential) should be asked tons of questions in order to determine what people think of your brand and product/services. With this information in hand, well crafted messages can then be sent to the masses and index cards can be updated, stored and called upon at purchase time.
My lip balm purchase craze proves that we marketers are doing our job well. So in support of my industry (and inadvertently the lip balm industry), I will not be giving up lip balm in 2010 after all. I guess I’m back to weight loss. Someone pass the celery sticks.
What’s on your mental index cards?