The financial planner's target market was the blue collar employee who is now allowed to have professional assistance managing the Defined Contribution Plan. The lending institution wanted to rebrand itself as accessible to college students.
The tough nut to crack was and continues to be getting just the right tone in the marketing communications. As a factor in generating outcomes, tone is right up there with timing.
But, it's harder to create. That's because of the increasing diversity within a target market. There is, for example, no one-size-fits-all profile for plant workers or Millennials.
One approach is to have a mindset of course correction. When I was a contract content-provider for a major media company we would pull down a post not receiving traffic. Then we would redo it. Usually we created a more provocative headline with a topical hook as well as first sentence. Of course, we seeded those with proven-out keywords.
Another is to listen. No, you don't have to conduct a formal focus group. Instead, retrieve video clips in which members of the market segment are being themselves. Facebook Live provides material for that. That's how I realized I had to put more energy in the tone for business leaders.
A third is to make it your mission to introduce a new tone. Really, that could be pulled off. And, it's unusually successful. At Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg put out there the hey, dude tone. Over the years, of course, he's refined that to align more with the expected tone of public companies in addressing constituencies.
In operating my own communications boutique I have struggled for the right tone in pitching, both on paper and in person. The marketplace for my services is no longer a monolith.
Large companies and small have developed their unique way of doing business to survive. That includes their very own kind of organizational culture. Continually I have to size up what would be the most effective way to approach X versus Y or Z.
Never is tone a done deal. It's always on the table to re-negotiate. Especially with the client or prospect.