When developing a marketing campaign, you need to remember one thing above almost any other—be consistent. Why is consistency important in advertising? Aside from the obvious benefits of consistent advertising in conjunction with frequency, it also plays a vital role in how consumers relate to your brand. Today's post will discuss why you need to ensure marketing consistency as well as how to keep your advertising consistent.
Why It Matters: Brand Image
With the increasing importance of micro-moments across a fragmented path to purchase, consistency is what helps your audience understand who your brand is and what it stands for. Each piece of your brand that customers encounter builds upon the next, be it on the radio in their car or searching for answers about your industry from their mobile device, and these pieces come together like a puzzle to create the way they think about your brand. When you're consistent, you make your brand dependable, increasing trust in your brand, products and services by about 30%, because they know what you have to offer them, why you're unique and better than your competitors, and where they can find you when they want or need you.
Why It Matters: Brand Message
To be sure, there are no guarantees that a particular dollar amount will garner results for a specific campaign. However, results are inextricably tied to your message, so perhaps consistency in messaging is probably best understood by the cost of not being consistent: loss of clarity that leads to loss of action. It's well known that repetition is required to lead to action, but if the CTA consumers are exposed to is different every time, the repetition from hearing about your brand is going to be absolutely undermined by confusion. What's more, even when your brand image is consistent, if your messaging isn't, it will breed a level of dissatisfaction that will invariably hurt your brand reputation.
Fortunately, building consistency into your advertising is easy if you take advantage of the right strategy. By ensuring you have the right tools in your marketing toolbox, you can find that magical balance between consistency and vibrant and fresh advertising. First and foremost, develop a style guide so there's a definitive reference for marketing teams, then ensure you coordinate and integrate your teams with cohesive, campaign oriented meetings. Keep your staff in the loop so they knows what needs to stay consistent. Most often, this applies to creative elements. We're speaking quite literally about the elements that make up your advertisements: visually, that means using the same colors, typeface, and logos. However, it bears noting that a seamless, omnichannel customer experience means adjusting format to suit each channel. After all, using the same image in a digital graphic and a poster in-store will have different requirements in terms of layout and resolution.
However, it's important to remember that your calls-to-action need creative consistency as well. The same steps should be expressed in similar ways in each expression of the ad, no matter what channel customers find it on.
A Note on What Consistency Looks Like in Radio Advertising
Creative consistency is a little different when the way customers consume it is by hearing it. Crafting a memorable listening experience means having strong storytelling as much as it means repeating creative elements like using the same voice actors, taglines and jingles, especially if you're advertising on more than one station. (It helps to dominate one station first.) When you give customers an emotional reason to want to listen to the next "installment" of the campaign, you increase the likelihood of recall and action. This is also an important factor in integration and synchronization, because you can tie in storytelling from advertising installments on other mediums. (Consider State Farm's "State of Unrest" TV ad with a radio follow up that involves the husband and wife in a therapy session.)
Now that you understand how to keep your advertising consistent, you can audit your current strategy and redirect in order to reap the benefits of consistent advertising. Drive your brand message home and watch the results of your calls-to-action improve.