Today our world is completely different compared to the early years of industrialism or even in comparison to just ten fifteen years ago. Our modern society is more or less totally transparent and the consumers are in command. To be successful today you need a genuine interest to listen to them and to understand their needs by implementing engaged, humble and respectful conversations. Not by polluting the world with just another shouting advertising campaign. As a reminiscence, a short resume of David Report issue 4 – The credibility Loop:
“Today advertising is a questionable effort both to build recognition and to build a brand. The academic elite as well as business professionals have a second thought how to do. It’s all about building a trustworthy and reliable partnership with your (future) customers. To become a part of their mind so to speak. And when most people are sick and tired of all advertising everywhere, there must be a better way to communicate with them, mustn’t”
As an answer to the current situation we gave the advice to go for a ride in the Credibility Loop. We are convinced that if a product will be able to speak for itself via a unique design, personality and soul, it will by far be the best and least expensive way to communicate it.
A new world order.
For a couple of decades it has been unfashionable to talk about products and services. According to the marketers advertising has been the big solution to everything.
Advertising has been the king. But it is no more. We have a new world order where online communities like YouTube and MySpace will be in command as the new message carrier. A recent example is the short movie “campaign for real beauty” from Dove which generated betterDR5 mincooper feedback at YouTube than through a multiple dollar thirty seconds spot during Superbowl. We would like to turn the telescopic sight back to the very core of brand delivery, which is the products and services. The very heart or DNA of a brand so to speak. This is where most credibility lies. And by developing and spicing up the core you can achieve competitive advantage in an ever-changing world. Still, in most cases the core is blurred by all the advertising surrounding more or less everything we buy but which is not adding anything to the world. It is just a lacquer on the top. It is just there to market the product. It is just like the peel of an orange. Something you peel off and throw away in the garbage when going for what´s good inside.
Maybe it exists other and more creative methods to make products attractive to the consumers rather than spending more and more money on traditional advertising? We think so. What if a company took some (or a lot) of the advertising and communication budget and used it on design and innovation instead?
Will that help them to enhance the attraction and make a product more desirable? Will they be able to make it more particular and necessary? Of course, according us.
Advertising cannot change the word. Design and innovation can!
ATL – BTL – and now……….. CTP
Years ago Jackson Five played with figures and letters in the song ABC, “ABC, 123, baby, you and me!” In an easy way they communicated the way to go: After A comes B and after B comes C.
The discussion on how to communicate is intense. Disputes whether to use ATL and/or BTL instruments for a communication campaign. ATL stands for Above-The-Line using mass media such as TV-spots, print-ads and radio campaigns. Today ATL has most part of the marketing investments even if it is emotionally poor. BTL or Below-the-Line is the umbrella term of more creative methods such as PR, events and word-of-mouth. A common denominator for ATL is the PUSH strategy. As a consumer you can not really decide if you would like to be theDR5shuffle addressee or not. Because it is everywhere. We doubt that this is a smart strategy when we are in the middle of a strong and fast shift from marketers to consumers. Today consumers are in command. They are sick and tired of all the buzz out there. They want to find relevant information by themselves. And this from credible sources (advertising does not count as one any longer…). It is given nowadays that it is the consumers that “owns” your brand. At least if you think that the perception of your brand in the mind of the target group is paramount. If we hold this as true, isn’t it strange that so many companies do not still listen to the desideratum of their customers?
We recommend a PULL-strategy that attracts the customer and pulls him/her to the product or service like a fly to sugar. PULL is driven by credibility. One (and the best?) example of a credible PULL strategy is a marketing and communication strategy we have named Communication Through Product (CTP).
Communication Through Product (CTP) is about using your budget for design and innovation instead of trying to hide poor products behind loads of expensive advertising. It´s about letting the products communicate by themselves instead of building up costly communication around them and to make the products their own ambassadors by adding elements that communicate the identity of the brand which at the samt time will pull people to them.
What makes a product communicate by itself then? We think it has to do about delivering experiences and creating a sense of belonging. By letting the products solve problems, provide benefits and evoke meaning. They will be able to achieve this by offering sensory stimulation and by providing cognitive adventures.
Be sensitive to what the consumer thinks and feels. Create attraction and they will voluntarily seek, find and accept your products. We say – be proactive, make a difference and take control of the situation. Skip A and B and go directly to C, the thrustworthy core. Try Communication Through Product (CTP), you´ll like it.
The drop metaphor
A drop is our metaphor for Communication Through Product (CTP). Like rings on the water the product (and brand) reaches the consumers. The experience is stronger closer to the center and fades the further out you get.
The closer to the core, the more trustworthy results you will achieve in your communication efforts. By using Communication Through Product (CTP) you will be able to work inside out with the necessary humanistic ingredients in focus, not just putting some varnish on the surface.
The closer to the core you will get, the bigger the sensory experiences are. ATL makes you see and hear, BTL tickles a little bit more but Communication Through Product (CTP) fully evokes taste, touch and smell as well. You will get a subconscious and intuitive feeling of something real and credible, your sixth sense! Communication Through Product (CTP) is actually the best sensory marketing strategy there is.
By starting the communication with the products themselves, or in their logical nearness, they will from the beginning have a PULL-factor incorporated that attracts consumers without a major advertising campaign. This because the product itself substantively is the best messenger you can get.
Design, innovation and creativity are the key ingredients that builds the unique DNA of Communication Through Product (CTP). Communication Through Product (CTP) is marketing 2.0.
Save and earn money by using CTP
Today, in general, the media budget compared to the investment in design and innovation is divided approximately like this: 70 percent ATL, 25 percent BTL and 5 percent design and innovation. How is it possible to defend a strategy that “waste” nearly 3/4 on questionable advertising?
We mean that the total amount spent will decrease when investing more resources on design and innovation. Because by boosting the core, less money will be needed for ATL and/or in some sense BTL activities (even if we believe that BTL is a a good transmitter because it is interpersonal and experience related). The estimated figures in the models below tells us that you could save something like 20 percent of spending, and which is as important, it will increase the credibility level hugely.
Our examples excludes production, distribution and administration costs etc. We are only counting the cost of communication plus design and innovation. Our figures are just roughly presented and should be seen as an experimental and alternative thinking. But if this is the reality, can you afford not going for a ride in the Credibility Loop? And best of all, be able to make a big difference?
The windup – in six logical steps
1. Advertising has lost its credibility.
2. Everybody are talking about how to communicate in a new way.
3. We say – go to the very core – the product or service and communicate through it. It´s the best way to build a credible brand.
4. Use design, creativity and innovation to make products and services relevant enough to attract the target group and they will find them voluntarily.
5. You will save money because Communication Through Product (CTP) is the most-cost-effective communication solution there is! This really attracts business men/women!
6. As a bonus you will be able to make a difference. This really attracts the consumers nowadays!
There it is, our supermodel, that hopefully will make business executives think twice before buying another expensive advertising campaign. Communication Through Product (CTP) is a model to use to get more attention, more sales and more credibility for less investment. Sounds to good to be true!