- Our Approach
The Cranky Communicator: Looking from the Outside-in
“There is no expedient to which a man will not resort in order to avoid the real labor of thinking.”
— Sir Joshua Reynolds, 18th century English portrait painter
When considering information in terms of our need to define advertising, we recognize two types, nominally termed as “inside-out” and “outside-in” information.
The former includes data about your products and competitors’ products, industry sales history, trends and forecasts, distribution policies and channels, pricing history and practices, past advertising and promotion expenditures, themes, media, etc. This information is necessary and valuable to the advertising manager. He should have access to it, study it and employ it.
Many experienced people can gather this kind of information and exploit it; it does not require the particular skills and imagination of the advertising executive. His great contribution is that, by training and intuition, he thinks in terms of the end customer (outside-in thinking). His thinking runs like this:
- Merchandise: What is there about this product that would make other people want to buy it?
- Markets: How many of what types of people comprise the present and potential markets?
- Motives: What are the desires, habits and attitudes of people that cause them to buy or refrain from buying?
- Messages: What is the most significant thing we can say about this product that will move people to buy it?
Long-term readers of this blog will recognize these as four of the 6Ms for marcom planning and execution. Over the years, I have found this to be a highly effective device — and a rigorously disciplined approach — to concocting and implementing advertising programs.
The 6Ms have served TriComB2B’s clients well for many years. And it is something you can employ easily and with consistently positive results. In fact, one of our clients did us one better.
We had run a series of ads for a manufacturer of chemical process pumps which proved to be highly effective in creating awareness and generating inquiries. The numbers escape me now, but I’m pretty certain these ads generated twice the usual number of “leads.” The theme of these ads was based on product reliability and increased “leisure time” for the maintenance staff. The sales manager conceded they were effective for maintenance managers, but he wanted more inquiries from specifying engineers. He insisted (above our objections) on a more technical “nuts and bolts” approach, complete with a product cutaway and callouts.
He was right: the results were spectacular, with the number of inquiries doubling again… and this time from a different audience subset. We had trained this outside-in thinking sales manager well. He intuitively knew the markets and their motives, and together we crafted a message to more than satisfactorily elicit their response.
Sir Joshua Reynolds was also right: thinking is hard work. But with a consistent, disciplined approach to marcom planning you can save a lot of frustration and false starts while significantly increasing your chances of success.
If you’d like to learn more about the 6M approach, we’d be happy to oblige.