Have you come across your colleagues or friends who respond to emails better than phone calls and vice versa?
Or do they respond to face-to-face conversations better than emails and vice versa?
Or respond to you on Whatsapp better compared to calling them?
Or in some cases, certain individuals respond to both the phone calls and face-to-face interactions better but not so much to emails or texting?
Depending on the medium (aka channels) individuals are using, we package our message differently. Channels, in this case, are email, face-to-face interactions, phone call, mobile SMS, Whatsapp. This is a simplistic example but nevertheless, gets into the importance of Message and Medium aspects. It shows individuals’ preferences and tastes towards certain channels and their corresponding response (either favorable or unfavorable) ultimately allowing you to reach fruitful outcomes (or not).
Nowadays, we find that number of social media channels are abundant (e.g. Facebook, website blogs, mobile videos, WhatsApp messages, Twitter feeds or Twitter handles, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and social media mentions… to name a few). It has opened up many possibilities for digital marketers to target the right messages through these channels whether they are dealing with B2C or B2B marketing use-cases.
Having said that, however important these two aspects are (i.e. Message and Medium), they are not enough. When it comes to Marketing, an important angle needs to be considered – “Market”. Market is about knowing your target customers and prospects. Overall, any kind of business operation the corporation operates in, it is the trifecta (also known as big 3Ms) of Market, Message and Medium that forms the core of its marketing activities.
Although the concept originated in the Traditional Marketing era, it still holds true in today’s Digital Marketing and Social Media Marketing age.
Market- It is the foundational aspect that makes things easier for you when you start dealing with “Message” and “Medium” aspects. Market is group of people (prospects and customers) that are most likely to be helped by your product or service. It deals with aspects like:
- Who are your best customers? What is their demographics loos like (e.g. age, gender, economic class, ethnicity, education, geography)?
- What is their psychographics look like (e.g. their goals, interests, pain points, influential behavior, buying styles)?
- How would you describe your ideal customer personas or customer avatars in terms of their wants or needs (without actually mentioning your products or services)?
- Are there any common factors shared among existing customers?
Message- Message is about positioning yourself in the market and describing the value propositions. For example, things such as:
- What your offerings are and their benefits?
Why should market care what you’ve got?
- What separates you from the competition?
- Why should prospects or customers give your brand a consideration? etc.
- For each marketing segment (or customer avatars) you’ve identified, you can tailor make the message, develop appropriate campaigns to convey your brand value and benefits.
Medium (aka Channel)- Medium is about deciding what channels represent appropriate mediums to convey your message.
Which channels should you be focusing on and where will you generate most ROI from? E.g. print media, direct mailing, TV, websites, email, face-to-face, social media, self-service portals, mobile, blogs etc.
Based on that, you can create and package the message that is suited for the underlying channel. Medium becomes your delivery mechanism to create meaningful messages and allows you to describe your brand story to your target market.
In the case of social media, each channel serves as the customer touch-point (or digital touch-point) and hosts number of interactions which can yield valuable data. It allows companies to directly interact with their customers (& vice versa) and track customer behavior which is a significant departure from the traditional marketing techniques.
In summary, all three aspects of the marketing trifecta- market, message, and medium are important in their own ways. Your organization should complete 3Ms technique for the products or services you offer. Doing this exercise will bring more clarity to your organization’s goals and can lead to profitable growth.
To your Success!