Article by Karen Lithgow, Managing Director – Executive Search & Marketing/Business Strategy Consulting
As the implications and consequences of the Brexit referendum vote are in the midst of being understood, I find myself reminiscing about my days as a brand assistant and thinking about the importance of fundamentals. So what can we learn from what has transpired in the UK? For the marketer, there are a few good reminders:
Brexit Lesson #1: Understand your audience inside and out
The RemaIN campaign failed to understand their audience, what motivates them and what message would resonate with them vs. the Leave campaign that understood their target consumer very well and spoke to them directly. The fact of the matter is that although 73% of 18-24-year-olds supported RemaIN, they did not turn out at the polls. The older generation was motivated to get out and vote vs. the Millennials whose voice was drowned out because a lack of voter turnout. And with advanced analytic capability through social media that can target the right audience with the right message, one can’t help but think of the missed opportunity.
Brexit: Lesson #2: Keep the message simple and have a clear CTA
In the world of “snackable” content that we now live in, a simple, clear message and Call to Action (CTA) is more necessary than ever. The RemaIN campaign, while a clever play on words, was not able to communicate their arguments for staying in a simple manner and lacked a clear CTA. RemaIN’s “Britain stronger in Europe” does not have the galvanizing mission, as say the Leave campaign’s “Let’s take back Control” and it certainly did not pull the Millennials out to vote. The consensus was that the RemaIN Campaign’s messages were irrelevant and did not speak directly to their target audience. Distilling a complicated message into simple terms, for specific target audiences makes it more memorable.
Brexit Lesson #3: Never discount the power of emotion
In our early marketing days, we learned that the combination of the rational and emotional is what drives decision making. The RemaIN Campaign seemed to focus solely on the rational reasons for staying in the EU. On the opposite side, the Leave Campaign provided voters with a more emotional connection by creating a message that all could relate to that ultimately ended up being more influential. The Leave Campaign was fueled by a passionate emotion and was able to engage its customers in a more meaningful way.
So, as you reflect upon your campaigns, what parallels do you see with the Brexit campaign? How has Big Data and advanced analytics been employed to help focus on the fundamentals of your business? In today’s fast-paced social media fueled environment is it becoming more difficult to focus on the basics?
As always, we welcome your comments and input!