Nov 25 2019
Years ago, I pitched an idea for a hospital marketing campaign to my boss and he rejected it immediately. He said it “didn’t resonate.” I was frustrated because I had done a fair amount of research and worked with a creative team to design unconventional messages that were amusing and engaging while still respecting the serious nature of health care.
As the president of the hospital, my boss thought his knowledge of health care would allow him to recognize how this campaign would land with the target audience, which was women between 35 and 55–the healthcare decision-makers in most families.
Rather than accept his rejection, I asked if I could share the campaign with his wife, a woman he trusted and a member of the target audience. She loved it and the campaign went ahead.
We all have a unique lens through which we see the world, a perspective that has been carefully cultivated through our upbringing and experiences. No matter how hard we try, most of us cannot really know how people outside our circle feel.
If communicating well with employees, customers, and other stakeholders is important to your work, consider doing a little field testing to see if your messages are on track. Also, rather than sharing information from your perspective (e.g., “I think xyz…” or “We provide a great product or service…”), consider how your message helps members of your audience reach their goals (e.g, “Let’s join together to make this happen.” or “Here’s how this product or service helps you do or be better.”)
I was recently listening to a podcast called TED Radio Hour on the topic of how to inspire people to action. It reminded me of the importance of sharing a vision and making it clear how that vision benefits the people you most want to reach. Using positive, concrete examples rather than vague ideas helps people see and feel the reality you describe. When they can see and feel it, they are in a better position to decide whether they want to join in.
If you want help developing messages that resonate, call us.