The recent national elections were an emotional activity for many Filipinos. It saw the highest voter turnout in recent history and also left many people divided and relationships strained. Social media is littered with opinions from anyone and everyone. Much has been written on what worked, what did not, and the lessons learned along the way.
There are certainly a lot of learnings that can be picked up from the campaign season that preceded the elections, so much so that some scenarios can make for good, albeit cautionary, business cases in graduate school.
One of the telling signs of a good marketing strategy is in its execution of focus and consistency. One advice in the book The 22 Immutable Laws of Branding by Al and Laura Ries involves utilizing focus in creating a world-class brand. The idea is that the brand becomes weaker as it expands and loses focus. Conversely, it becomes stronger as it narrows its focus. One way of building a strong focus on your brand is ensuring that you relay clear and consistent messaging throughout your campaign and avoid confusing your audience along the way.
It starts with understanding your target audience or customer. Customers vary in demographics, segmentation and other profiles, and it is important to understand their overall customer experience when interacting with your brand (or campaign, for that matter) to ensure that you remain relatable. Sounds easy? One may be surprised.
In our consulting work with companies focusing their efforts on customers and hence dealing with customer journey mapping, much of the brain power relies on this exercise, particularly because they are the customers and the products or services that the company will create or offer will depend on what they need now and later. Having a good grasp of this will save tremendous amounts of money, resources and time. The messages conveyed have to be relatable and if not, there is a need to reiterate to ensure that relatability is achieved.
This becomes imperative when you are marketing to the entire Philippines given its varying demographics. In terms of economic class, you have the masa, lower and upper middle class, and those above the hierarchy. Just this segmentation alone will tell you the kind of messages they will respond to and otherwise.
What will make you top of mind? What will make you not likeable? What is the extent that your messaging can make them support you all the way? While one central theme is needed to support the brand’s value proposition, this can be broken down into key messages that will be well-responded to by different audience segments.
Having this central theme and the underlying messages supports a strong, focused and consistent brand campaign. Doing without will only lead to the inevitable failure of the campaign or brand.
Kay Calpo Lugtu is the chief operating officer of Hungry Workhorse, a digital and culture transformation firm. Her advocacies include food innovation, nation-building and sustainability. The author may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.