Consumer Marketing & Advertising

Getting to the heart of
ever-changing audiences

Marketing to consumers is a pretty big category. That's because "consumers" includes everyone who also falls under the category of "people". So you need to do two things. The first is to define which people you want
to talk to.

The second is to throw away your preconceived notions and figure out what's really important to them, today. Not when you started your company. Not two years ago. Now.


Why success in consumer marketing means keeping your eye on the ball

Red flower

Companies are usually quite correct in identifying their primary target markets, but are often too narrow in their focus. Audiences and needs change constantly.

  • People grow up, move on, discover new things to like about your brand. Some of them are happy to become advocates for your brand — if you ask.
  • Customers start using your products in ways and situations that you never imagined, opening up entire new markets that you can tap into easily and profitably—if you only knew that they were there.
  • Old core markets shrink, and are replaced by new fans with different expectations and different reasons to like you.
  • Consumers rely on all kinds of devices, media, and channels to get their information, in a landscape that's changing as fast as the technology. We're not only living in an age of social media. We're living in an age where consumers can use a smart phone to snap a picture of a QR code and go directly to the advertiser's website. Who knew that one day, posters in a mall, and tent cards in a fast-food restaurant, would be interactive?

We help our clients take a fresh look at their target markets, refine their messages appropriately, choose the channels and media that make sense, and increase their sales as a result.

Consumer Marketing Case Study: KnowledgePoints

When we began working with KnowledgePoints, their marketing was so much in lockstep with the rest of their industry that they used the same stock photo as two of their competitors.

  • The advertising provided by Corporate was so off-track that many franchisees preferred to use homemade flyers and other materials. Neither solution reflected the professionalism of the centers, their outstanding record with students, or the many ways in which they supported the families that came to them.
  • Target markets included areas with large Latino populations. Some materials were in Spanish, but they didn't address the needs, concerns, and core values of Latino families in general and Latina women in particular. The same was true, to a lesser extent, of African-American customers.
  • Likewise, the key decision-maker in the vast majority of tutoring decisions is the mom. Yet the existing ads didn't target mothers very well. In terms of physical space, some of the centers did a good job of making mothers feel welcome; others did not.

Considering that KnowledgePoints' entire annual creative budget was less than what their largest competitor spent on online advertising in a single quarter, radical action was needed to help them stand out.

Radical action didn't mean embracing trends.

It meant taking a completely fresh look at KnowledgePoints' target consumers to create messaging, strategies, and tactics that helped KnowledgePoints stand out from its competitors.

We took a holistic approach to problems. In addition to making the ads do a better job of reflecting the needs of the target audiences, we wrote up pointers for the franchisees about how they could make their centers as welcoming to moms as the franchisees that did well in that area. We helped franchisees to look at their community demographic, and to understand that they could grow their business by doing a better job of reaching all families in their target market. We even provided training to help franchise owners find new customers in their communities.

Not all franchisees chose to use the new materials and marketing plans, but those that did booked many more tutoring hours and enjoyed much more growth. Less than a year after debuting the new recommendations, an economic downturn impacted tutoring centers nationwide. Franchisees who were not using the new approach experienced a10% loss on average. Those who were using the C3 Advertising recommendations continued to grow, including adding new locations.

Before: A combination of homemade and generic creative did nothing to distinguish the brand from its competitors. In fact, it accidentally even used some of the same stock photos.

KnowledgePoints After
KnowledgePoints Before

After: A fresh approach, better geared to the target consumers, offered flexibility and professionalism to franchisees. And it resonated better with parents.

Consumer Marketing FAQs

What's important to know about our customers, besides their buying habits and basic demographic?

Do you know what's important to your customers? Do you know how they use your products? Do you know -- really know-- who is among the top 20% of your customers, what they have in common, and why they like you? Are you effective at getting more like that top 20%?

At C3 Advertising, we help our consumer clients to get quick answers to those questions from the data available, and help them find ways to improve their data gathering processes to continually get more, and better, intelligence from the marketing, sales, and customer support tasks they do every day.

Want to get more mileage from your marketing and advertising to consumers? Start here.