Ever wonder why some ad campaigns resonate while others flop? You can sum it up in one word: insights. To create advertising that strikes a chord with your audience, you must first understand who your customer is and why they need you.
Insight into insights
It’s easy to get used to seeing your customer in a certain way. Insights can awaken you to new and often surprising perspectives about them. Insights reveal how people feel and why they choose certain brands.
They’re not always easy to get to. But there are a few ways that can help you find them:
Customer insights are essential to successful marketing campaigns. Only when you invest the time and effort to understand your audience, will you discover the hidden truths behind their choices and actions.
Insights inform strategy and creative campaigns
A well-positioned brand strategy gives you a competitive edge. But your strategy is meaningless if it’s not built upon a true and actionable customer insight.
Strategy and creative informed by insight crystallizes your focus and gives clear direction for all your creative ad campaigns. As advertising legend David Ogilvy once said, “Give me the freedom of a tight brief.”
When your brand campaign and activations are built upon the solid rock of customer insight, you can have confidence in your campaign. It will create genuine connections that resonate, which lead to increased engagement and brand loyalty.
For better or worse
Let’s look at two recent examples: one that neglected customer insight and one that embraced it.
J.C. Penney isn’t Apple
Consider the failed rebrand of J.C. Penney. Ron Johnson—the former head of Apple’s extremely successful retail stores—became J.C. Penney’s new CEO. Much excitement surrounded his arrival, and he executed big changes quickly.
He shifted the merchandise pricing strategy, redesigned the stores, and exchanged the traditional J.C. Penney logo for the modern “JCP.”
Sales plummeted, and 18 months later, Johnson was let go.
There are many reasons for this failure. But the most important one is failing to understand why customers were unhappy. Johnson presumed customers were tired of the coupons and other hallmarks of J.C. Penney. In reality, those were the features customers loved most.
No two customers are the same. What resonates with Apple customers won’t necessarily work with J.C. Penney customers.
Have a little empathy
Our agency worked on a disease-awareness campaign for chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy (CIPN)—a frequent side effect from common cancer treatment that damages the nerves and can produce uncomfortable sensations, ranging from stinging, stabbing, burning, and more.
Before starting any work, we talked to patients. We listened to their stories. The mundane tasks of life became occasions of agonizing pain. One patient said the act of gripping a steering wheel felt like it was wrapped in barbed wire.
These insights sparked an experiential campaign that launched at our client’s booth at The San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium.
We created the world’s first “empathy glove,” which mimics intense stinging and tingling sensations patients often feel due to CIPN. Not only were HCPs awakened to their patients’ distress, but they also were so moved that they shared it across social media, and thousands began following our client as a result.
Can you speak to your audience without knowing them?
Short answer: Perhaps. Maybe you’ll get lucky. But maybe you won’t. It's a gamble. The only way you can be sure is to capture insights about your audience from the beginning.
Take the time to understand the “why” behind your customers’ choices and actions. Armed with these insights, your campaign will capture attention, shift mindsets, and drive meaningful results.
Leave no doubt and see your campaign soar.