Three Essential Marketing Campaign Components

The beautiful part is that for current customers, the “try” message reinforces the reason(s) that keep you coming back in the first place.

Now let’s say you have never been to Mythical Burgers at all. You’ve seen the “try” messages—after all, most of us are exposed to pretty much the same media—and didn’t try. You’ve seen the “regular” messages and didn’t become one. We need a completely different action.

Perhaps it is a promotion (try now and get a meal for the price of a burger) or a tactical action (this weekend only, bring in the receipt from another burger joint and we’ll give you the equivalent for 50 percent off). Whatever it is, it needs to be different enough that it will (1) get noticed by our noncustomers and (2) move them to action.

The “try” message also works well with the other two groups:

  • • It might be just the thing to bring an ex-customer back to the grill.
  • • It reinforces the decision made by current customers in favor of Mythical Burgers and could provide an added value (i.e., the promotion is open to everyone).

Why Now?

I had proposed this to FCB, Kraft and SCJ in the ’90s. Back then, it wasn’t practical: Filming three TV commercials was prohibitive, and our targets did not have enough exposure to other media to impact sales in any way.

Today, there are several communication channels that we can use to segment messages, including the Web, search, mobile, email marketing and SMS marketing, all of which offer significant audiences and inexpensive production costs.

So Where Does Cognitive Dissonance Come In?

Simple: self-selection. As we move along our day, in order to minimize the tension that cognitive dissonance points out, we will tend to gloss over any communication that is irrelevant.

So, if we are not a Mythical Burgers customer, we tend to ignore its communications.

It would take a completely different message for the nonconsumer to even notice it. It then becomes safe to even run the different ads in the same medium; we will ignore those that don’t apply to us.

What Does it Take?

Tool 1: gathering intelligence: The existence of online surveys, online consumer panels and online focus groups provides real-time, low-cost solutions that just did not exist 10 years ago.

Using one or any combination of these tools, it is relatively affordable to put together groups of ex-customers, non-customers and loyal customers, and find out some of the key decision points.