Last night I was sitting in front of the TV when an episode of ‘The Apprentice’ came on. The series has been run and won in the USA.
It’s a reality TV show where a bunch of people perform a range of business tasks to impress the ‘Boss’ – Donald Trump.
Last night the two – (2) teams, had to develop an advertising campaign for a corporate jet business. They had 48 hours to complete the task.
The all women team first had a meeting with the client and then set about developing their campaign. The campaign was characterised by having a high sexual innuendo component in terms of the plane being presented as a phallic symbol.
The all men team just got straight into it and developed a campaign that was to be defined by being ‘classy.’
The girls won.
Both teams had very little idea.
I’m sure plenty was edited out of the development of the campaign, but here’s a 6 step guide to what they should have done.
1. Meet with the client (like d’uh!)
When developing an ad campaign of course you need to meet with the client. Good reasons for this include:
- Identify their objectives for the campaign
- Learn from their industry knowledge
- Learn what has worked in the past in terms of advertising strategies
- Learn what has failed in the past in terms of advertising strategies
- Develop an understanding of their brand positioning (i.e. are they a low cost
- Identify the key points of difference between their business and the competitor
2. Research the industry
This is a part that many people miss. If in researching the industry the women from Protégé may well have found that the fastest growing segment of the corporate jet market was women executives, and the major choice influence on decision makers for this product were also women. (I actually don’t know, I just made that up. But I wouldn’t be surprised if women were the fastest growing market segment.)
Which would make their decision to go ahead with their male-orientated campaign a disaster for the client. They could have immediately alienated a huge % of their market.
Other aspects that would need to be researched include:
- Competitors (strengths, weaknesses and strategies)
- Growth of the industry
- Key market segments
- Client profiles
- Awareness factors – how do other find out about the company (my guess here would be most of it would be word of mouth and networking)
- Choice influences on current clients – again, I’d guess word of mouth
- Choice influences on prospects
- Prospect perceptions – i.e. how do they perceive the various market competitors
3. Develop the strategy
(once the research has identified the market and the approach required) – by strategy I refer to the approach.
The Protégé strategy was to imply a sexual benefit or allure to the prospect.
The Versa strategy was to communicate a level of style that is achieved through using the service.
The strategy here should really be to communicate your key benefit to the prospect. A benefit that influences positively his/her choice.
The campaign is developed around what’s identified as the strategy. If your research shows that the key message needs to say “Our major point of difference is that we are incredibly safe (the safest airplanes ever)” then say that.
Develop your advertising mix to be an integrated unit. So if you take TV ads, run your newspaper ads and PR at the same time. Not six- (6) months later.
It ain’t that hard.
Once you figure out what your key message will be, your creative needs to say that. If you are going for style and sophistication, then your marketing materials need to be top class.
If you’re chief message is “We’re cheaper” then your marketing material – from brochure, to copy, to print ads to TV to radio, all need to say that. (i.e. if you are competing on price you wouldn’t packaging your material in the most expensive way).
If it’s about safety, then use solid trustworthy colour (Navy Blue) and use an older authoritative looking guy in a Pilot’s uniform as your spokesperson. That’s build trust.
6. Test and measure
Test and measure everything. Once you have the strategy, run that past your target market and measure the response.
Once you are happy with that, try out the campaign thoughts. If that measures up then move onto the creative.
If that gets the reaction you are after (they want to buy) then you go with that.
The only people who can really tell you if your advertising is right is the prospect. Not the client. Not your mum. And certainly not you. Only the person who is thinking of buying.
So ask them!