With a million and one things to do, it’s essential that brand marketers have an effective way to prioritise their workload. Fortunately, we’ve developed a framework to show you exactly where to spend your precious time and budget.
‘Core’ is the segment of your market where you enjoy high awareness and strong brand health.
While it may seem counterintuitive to focus on the area that’s already doing well, in fact, you should concentrate the majority of your efforts here. Putting out fires can feel like the most natural way to increase results. However to create the best ROI, it’s better to push an open door—invest where you already have momentum—so that the flywheel continues to gather pace.
When working on your ‘Core’ segment, it’s essential to stay close to consumers: understand what’s working (and how to apply this to other segments); be alert to competitive threats; and ensure there’s no evidence of underinvestment that could harm your market-leading position.
The ‘More’ segment of your market is where you have relatively low awareness, but strong brand health amongst those who do know you.
Here, you have all the ingredients of success—product/market fit, early adopters, die-hard fans—but now you need to fan the flames of your brand awareness.
Get to know these ‘More’ consumers: which channels do they use? What other brands do they love? Which messages resonate with them? Ask these questions and you’ll find answers to where you should advertise; who you should partner with; and how your brand should communicate.
By consistently identifying your ‘More’ segment, you can learn what you’re getting right, to be sure you’re investing in appropriate brand-building and awareness activities. You’ll continue to expand your market and reach, driving fresh waves of revenue and encouraging them into your ‘Core’ segment.
‘Explore’ is the inverse of ‘More’. This is the market segment that knows your brand, but aren’t loving what they see.
If you’re a startup, perhaps you’ve you’ve built broad awareness but haven’t quite found the winning formula to a healthy brand. If you’re an established brand, perhaps your product/service no longer resonates, or a competitor’s built a better alternative, moving your target consumers from ‘Core’ to ‘Explore.’
The good news is that with high levels of awareness, once you find that spark again, you’re in a strong position to regain market leadership.
Focus less on brand building, and more on gaining a thorough understanding of the market’s needs. Proposition testing, messaging, positioning, jobs to be done...these are the focus for a brand marketer dealing with this segment.
‘Ignore’ is the segment of your lowest brand awareness: your brand is less well-known than its competitors and isn’t well-liked amongst those who do know you.
Should you panic? Is this problem so urgent, it should be moved to the top of your priority list? Quite the contrary. You can’t (and don’t need to) win 100% of market share. Even the most valuable companies in the world (Apple, Google, Amazon, Facebook etc.) haven’t hit this milestone.
By flogging a dead horse, you’ll only starve worthier opportunities of resources. In other words? ‘Ignore’ this segment.
Identifying each segment
Now you have a framework to strategically order your priorities, we need to look at how to populate the data that feeds into it.
For this framework to succeed, it’s essential you have:
- A statistically robust sample size from a reputable provider (1000-2000 sample size for the UK is a great starting point)
- Both quantitative and qualitative questions: quantitative help you define your different consumer segments; qualitative provide richer context as to why people fall into each segment. They will also show you how to move consumers into ‘Core’.
- These questions will likely be a mix of:
- Unprompted brand recall
- Prompted brand recall
- Purchase Intent
- Open-ended questions
- An easy way to filter data, cross-cut responses and demographic data, and build refined segments that map to this framework
- The ability to refresh data regularly. A single snapshot in time (annually, say) won’t let you spot trends, or measure your success in applying the framework
Working with a single, integrated platform that regularly provides you with the right data, and analyzes the results, is key. With a reliable data-flow, this framework will become an easy part of your workflow, allowing you to focus on turning your strategic focus into business results and measurable growth.
Mark Walker, Marketing Director, Attest.