Many marketers and broadcasters use a client needs analysis to collect vital information from the client to include in the commercial. Will this information give us everything we need to help that advertiser be successful?
The typical client needs analysis often leaves out the most important part of the radio success equation – the audience. Without including what they need, we may be defeating ourselves and shortchanging the client. Why not conduct an audience needs analysis?
What does your client’s audience need?
Every advertiser’s audience will have unique needs, but in general, the audience seeks help, information, entertainment and emotional support. They need to find meaning in a sea of information. They would someone to bring simplicity and order to the chaos and information overload of their lives. They need care, respect and comfort.
They’d rather hear invitations than demands. They’d like to come to their own conclusions, make their own choices, be led, and not pushed into making a buying decision. They’d like to be talked to, not at. They love to have secrets shared with them. They want to be treated as individuals.
Ask your client, “How does your audience feel now?’ “How would you like them to feel?” Create a commercial that addresses their present state of mind and takes them to a better place.
Talk to your client’s customers. Ask them why they purchased from the advertiser. Their reasons may be quite different from what the client thinks. What needs did they bring to the advertiser?
Listen for unique emotional connections. When customers bring them up, go deeper. Get enough information to create a story about their needs and how the advertiser can help satisfy them.
Here are specific parts of the audience needs analysis.
Research your client’s business by reading Radio Advertising Bureau instant backgrounds, searching Google, checking out your client’s web site and studying your client’s other media advertising.
Research your client’s competitors’ web sites and advertising.
Conduct field research. Buy something at your client’s store, in person, over the phone, or online. Eat at their restaurant, visit their club, and shop at their location. Do the same with their competitors. What’s the purchasing experience like? Look for your client’s unique qualities, services, customer approaches or people.
To research more intensively, stand outside the client’s business and ask 20 customers why they bought there. This will be very revealing. You’ll learn things the client doesn’t even know.
As you talk with your client, record the conversations as well as take notes. This will give you the information you need to create years of successful campaigns. During these conversations ask them what they like to do for fun, what’s their family like, what goals do they have for the business, do they want to expand, consolidate, sell it, or pass it on to their heirs?
Are they contemplating selling it to the employees? Would they like to move it or open branches all over the world?
What do they hate about the business? What do they love about it?
What keeps them awake at night? What about their business would they describe as the good, the bad and the ugly?
What do they do that’s special and different that no one knows about?
What secret recipes, techniques, skills or history do they have?
Are their any interesting or unusual customer stories? What’s the most surprising, unusual thing that’s happened to them or to one of their customers?
What do their competitors have that they don’t?
What do they have that their competitors don’t have?
Why do they think people shop there?
How does the listening audience perceive the client’s business?
How would they like listeners to feel about the business?
The most important question to ask is, “What emotional problem does the advertiser solve for the customer? Keep probing deeper until you get an appropriate answer.
Better prices, convenience or technical assistance don’t count. I call this process “peeling the onion.” The best answer will be a basic need such as love, acceptance, validation or comfort. This will be the core emotion to build your campaign around.
How does the advertiser solve that emotional problem? This is the second element to build your story around.
As you take your client through this process, listen for unique stories with emotional content that you or your creative department can flesh out into a continuing campaign.