Brands Must Craft Specific Messages To 'Empowered' Consumers

In a new “Rise of the Empowered Consumer” report, WPP’s MediaCom advises using authenticity in messaging and employing a “device-neutral” strategy when trying to reach consumers who have more control than ever, thanks to technology.

MediaCom suggests capitalizing on social media and online conversation to engage in a “two-way dialogue honestly and promptly” with consumers. Still, the agency says while taking into account both positive and negative feedback about products or brands, “don’t promise things that you can’t deliver.”

That would seem to be a cautionary rule for social media managers at companies that run Twitter and Facebook pages and answer customer inquiries.

MediaCom also urges marketers to break away from channel planning and veer more into message planning.

“Too many brands are thinking too narrowly in their advertising and only using certain channels to reach certain audiences,” the agency wrote. “Think more about what kinds of messages -- audio, video, text or image -- you want to deliver rather than the channels you want to deliver them on.”

MediaCom also reminds advertisers not to forget to be circumspect and timely when delivering messages. Don’t “bombard” consumers -- take pains to target individually. The agency offers the rather intuitive example of how nonsensical it would be to pitch a new laptop to a consumer the week after purchase. Conversely, there could be potential in coupons or even contact from a customer service representative.

Consumers will be open about sharing data so long as they feel a marketer is respecting their willingness to share, and the exchange can benefit them, MediaCom says.  

MediaCom emphasizes the importance of advertisers vigorously embracing the mobile platform. It suggests building a dedicated mobile site and trying to bounce consumers from traditional advertising to the more engaging mobile arena, such as placing a QR code on an ad.

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1 comment about "Brands Must Craft Specific Messages To 'Empowered' Consumers".
  1. Sean Clark from Sage Brand Directions , February 12, 2012 at 5:49 p.m.
    Nothing new here, but I suppose worth another reminder. What I would suggest though is replacing the word "specific" with "relevant". I often see the larger brands who have the resources to customize messaging by channel or creative platform produce very specific communications . What is missed many times though, is any meaningful consumer relevance within the vertical communications they do deploy.