The Market Fingerprint

How to Effectively Engage Consumers

The Market Fingerprint

In order to effectively engage consumers, it is imperative to have the dexterity and flexibility to communicate brand attributes and convey brand essence in a manner that is relevant to the end user.

Easier said than done, right?

Although we have a great many client partners who understand this nuanced balancing act, over the course of my career in marketing, I can recount more times than I would prefer of instances whereby programmatic decisions were made with broad brush strokes, painting a universal, vanilla experience for every consumer.

While it is important to ensure that the brand does not get lost in translation to a diverse array of consumer archetypes, it is equally important to avoid the misstep of assuming a one-dimensional view of consumers.

The Market Fingerprint (MFP) is a tool that I created early in my career, in an effort to help brand partners optimize the relevance and fit of their initiatives and maximize their return on investment. The Phoenix utilizes the MFP religiously in order to achieve a deeper understanding of local markets and the consumer segments that comprise them, allowing us to effectively navigate the significant diversity that exists not only between markets but also within each individual market.

This allows us to approach our clients’ programming both strategically and pragmatically to ensure that we remain true to the brand, while tailoring messaging and consumer experiences to increase credibility and relevance with prime prospect consumers. This approach is a proven tool to maximize the impact of the programs we design for our clients, in turn making their Brands’ marketing dollars work harder for them.

The Phoenix’s team of Brand Strategy professionals are happy to guide clients through our simple, but important 4-step process. The end result provides clear guidelines for effective brand messaging alignment and consumer experience customization along with efficient resource allocation to optimize marketing budgets.

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Step 1: Categorization: Pragmatic Consumer Exploration

In this increasingly diverse consumer landscape, it is important to take a deeper look at the holistic market opportunity by truly viewing the sum of its parts. After establishing our target demographic, the first step to success is to identify and familiarize ourselves with the parts that comprise them, or more specifically, to categorize the sub-segments. This categorization will be key to developing the tactical plans and will inform the next step of the process.

Consumer Exploration helps us by answering four simple questions:

  • Qualifiers: Who are they? What are they about?
  • Passions: What are their interests? What do they LOVE?
  • Access: What do they do? Where do we find them?
  • Connection: How do we relate to them? How do we find ways to effectively connect with them?

Step 2: Validation: Achieving Consumer Empathy

It’s not enough to understand consumers. True discovery requires that we go further than just understanding consumers, until we are able to achieve consumer empathy, a deeper level of consumer insight. I designed the Market Fingerprint to fuse consumer exploration with consumer empathy. This fusion approach allows for the generation of richer insight and leads to more relevant and meaningful connections.

Step 3: Customization: Applying What We Know About Them to Maximize Relevance & Fit

Once we have achieved this richer insight, it is time for us to put that knowledge to work. The third step enables us to leverage those insights to modify our communications, experiences and messaging to deliver the brand essence to the consumer in the most palatable manner. This customization will exponentially increase the impact of your marketing programming.

Step 4: Application: Tailoring Resource Allocation to the Market Opportunity

The fourth step to the MFP ensures that we match your investment with the market opportunity. Allocating resources where they have the propensity to make the most impact is key to successful marketing initiatives. This is one of the primary mechanisms to leverage and maximize your return on your investment.

One of the biggest mistakes brands can make is to think that meaningful connections can be made with consumers simply by understanding them. True discovery requires that we first establish a basic understanding of our consumers and then go further until we are able to achieve the much deeper level of consumer insight that yields the holy grail of consumer empathy. With that consumer knowledge, your brand will be able to effectively reach your target audience and establish meaningful connections with them to drive your brand forward.