Connect with Consumers with Mind-Set Marketing

By now everyone has heard the speculation that marketing and advertising as we know it is obsolete. We all agree on the obvious—technology has changed the rules forever. But have consumers really abandoned advertising?

The answer is no. In fact, consumers are more receptive to your brand message than ever, but it must be relevant and delivered at their choice of time and place.

New Rules for the New Media Era
Historically, consumers were able to subconsciously switch between the six o’clock news and their favorite sitcom while passively viewing advertising messages. This model made information and entertainment the two most powerful advertising channels. Today consumers automatically enter into different conscious ‘mind-sets’ that drive their choices, actions, and receptivity to marketing messages.

There are two key drivers behind this shift from passive to active consumer interaction with media:

  1. Consumer Savvy—Recent consumer behavioral studies clearly show that we have all become experts at ignoring and rejecting marketing messages, regardless of our generation. If you give it some thought, you’re likely able to instantly recognize messages that are irrelevant or ill-timed, and your reaction can range from feeling annoyed to downright angry with the intrusion. Strategic targeting of your brand message has never been a more critical component to successful advertising and marketing. The right message at the wrong time can backfire and actually place your brand in jeopardy.
  2. New Media—The primary force driving this dramatic change is the advent of technologies that keep us informed, involved and connected—anywhere and in an instant. New media is now cross-generationally accepted and inexorably weaved into the fabric of our daily lives. When engaging media, consumers no longer think in terms of ‘experiencing’, but rather in terms of what they want to accomplish or obtain from their media experience. Whether they’re turning on the television, computer or opening a newspaper, consumers do so with a specific purpose, goal or need in mind.

Mind-Set Marketing
The trick to reaching savvy target consumers without making them feel pushed or invaded is to stop strategizing around the media channel (television, Internet, print or radio) and start focusing on the mind-sets that consumers enter when they experience or interact with your advertising messages. Consumers aren't just tuning advertising out; they want advertising to tune them in.

The number of consumer mind-sets is endless, but the following is a description of some of the most relevant modes:

Consumers in the ENTERTAIN ME mind-set are on a mission to be amused. This mind-set is an oldie-but-goody and has been well served by the traditional media. But television is no longer the only act in town. Entertainment can be had virtually anywhere through computers and mobile devices. For instance, online gaming feels like entertainment, but can simultaneously be harnessed as a powerful marketing tool.

Information-seekers are looking for knowledge to help them make decisions. Due to the convenience and accessibility of new media, more and more consumers are seeking information online as opposed to in newspapers and catalogs.

Consumers in the CONNECT WITH ME mind-set are building relationships. There is a myriad of new media tools available to help them meet new people or stay in touch with family and friends. E-mail remains a popular choice, but social-networking sites are exploding. Text messaging and online gaming also allow them to experience continuous and instantaneous connections.

Similar to CONNECT WITH ME, consumers in the SHARE WITH ME mind-set want to create common ground. Millions of people log on to video- and image-sharing sites each day to swap their personal experiences.

When in the LISTEN TO ME mind-set, consumers are seeking to express their individual point of view. It’s cheaper and easier than ever to reach people with a message by posting a blog, vlog or podcast.

Be One with the Consumer
When you successfully align the advertising and marketing of your brand with consumer mind-sets, your brand actually becomes a part of the consumer experience. If it’s relevant and well placed, consumers will seek out your brand messages and content. Start by understanding your target consumers’ desires, then craft messages and targeted tools that deliver the desired experience. If your consumers want entertainment—entertain them. If they're seeking knowledge—inform them. If they feel like sharing, discovering or expressing themselves, it’s up to marketers to help facilitate that need. Connecting with your targeted consumer also means that your advertising and marketing must evolve beyond the traditional ‘campaign’ model into a more meaningful, long-term relationship that you actively sustain.

To illustrate how Mind-Set Marketing works, imagine the following hypothetical scenario:

Your company has developed a new suite of eco-friendly products and services for the Millennial demographic. Your business is located in a community with a University or large student/ Millennial population. Research shows that Millennials are highly motivated by causes; environmental protection is at the top of that list. Your marketing plan consists of five steps:

  • GET INVOLVED—Sponsor a large community environmental rally. Your sponsorship includes a visible sign at the event that communicates your company’s mutual concern for the environment. Donate employee time or company dollars to local or national environmental causes.
  • CONNECT—Translate your concern and involvement into an online marketing campaign. Create ‘click through’ web ads and post them on popular Millennial sites. When clicked, the consumer is routed to a microsite designed to promote your new line of products and services. This microsite ties into your company site, but is designed to specifically appeal to Millennials and includes interactivity, gaming and a “green” look and feel. Simultaneously launch an online PR campaign to promote your community involvement.
  • INFORM—Upload information to the microsite about environmental issues as well as about your company and the new suite of products. Include links to other helpful resources.
  • LISTEN—Create and promote an online contest that Millennial consumers can enter on your new microsite. Consumers are encouraged to submit personal stories describing how their work or the work of a friend helped make strides for the environmental movement. Visitors to the site can vote for their favorite story. The winner is awarded a sum of money that they can keep or donate to their favorite environmental cause. Or the winner wins an eco-friendly scooter.
  • SHARE—Evolve your campaign into an ongoing relationship by finding new ways to contribute to the cause and share your involvement with the targeted demographic. Create incentives for consumers to share information about your products and services online with a tangible referral reward. Edit and post video online showing your employees donating time for the cause.

SHINE’s proprietary discovery process helps us accurately identify what mind-set your target consumers are in at any given time. By aligning the message with the mind-set, our messages make it into consumer consciousness rather than becoming wasted marketing efforts. The result is a successful and excitingly unique branding and marketing approach that produces national quality, ROI-proven results. Our experienced, tech-savvy team works smart to assure that all our clients meet their most challenging brand objectives.

For more information, contact Shannon Farrelly at 603-303-8824 or via email at

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