Marketing Assessment: Messaging

by MarthaBush on April 27, 2010

Martha Bush

Getting the right message to the right person at the right time has to be the holy grail of one-to-one marketing.  Like the Holy Grail, you really have to wonder about the veracity of any claims by those who say they’ve reached the goal. This is one of life’s objectives that always seems just over the horizon line. Plus, with multi channel messaging exploding around us, it seems more complex and difficult than ever to coordinate real message relevancy for your prospect.

Building the groundwork for sophisticated multi-segment, multichannel messaging strategies first takes some digging.  We often work with clients to understand their level of messaging sophistication with a Five-step Maturity Framework that ranges from basic to sophisticated— we hope to objectively rate where a client’s expertise falls on a scale of 1-5 so we can help build a roadmap for organizational improvement. In this post I’ll review the types of questions we often ask to understand where clients land on the messaging scale and where the biggest opportunity for improvement lies.

20 Questions for Messaging Assessments:

  1. Do you know how different your customers are in terms of what they need from you?
  2. How capable is your business in terms of identifying and interacting with your customers individually?
  3. What direct communications channels are you currently using — direct mail, email, SMS, RSS?
  4. How much personalization is happening in each of these?
  5. Are the teams building messaging across the different channels integrated or siloed?
  6. What is the structure of a typical campaign? Is there a standardized methodology for campaign design?
  7. Do any segmentation approaches exist and have they been used in any marketing campaigns?
  8. What kind of response mechanisms have you tried, which work better than others?
  9. What are the potentially different treatments you have tried for the segments?
  10. Creative, offers, timing, frequency, products?
  11. Are there multiple message streams sent along a time schedule?
  12. Are these done on an automated basis on a daily basis, or are they weekly, monthly, etc.?
  13. What are your operational issues for successful campaign implementation?
  14. Is there an overall communications strategy for retention?
  15. Is there an overall communications strategy for acquisition?
  16. Does your creative team have access to detailed profiles of customers and prospect?
  17. Do you do research or focus groups to test creative concepts?
  18. Do you employ testing in your campaigns?  How does that work?
  19. What are the key metrics for success for your campaigns?
  20. Do you measure the different metrics for each creative component tested?

With these questions answered, you’ll be on your way to building smart steps to more relevant messaging strategies.

About the Author:

Martha Bush is SVP of Strategy & Solutions at SIGMA Marketing Group.  Follow Martha on  or connect with her on .

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