Of all the companies and brands we know, our perception of them can often be boiled down to a single word. Are we engaged? Committed? Indifferent? Perplexed? Outraged?
Try this quick exercise. In a word, how do you feel about:
Your local hospital?
Your credit card company?
It’s likely you feel great about some of these institutions … and less so about others. And there are probably some you don’t quite think of at all.
As a marketer, it may be helpful to spend time thinking about where your company’s audience of current and potential customers falls, organizing them into certain mindset categories across a continuum.
Perhaps you recognize that some in your audience are exactly where you’d like them to be. Let’s say they’re your biggest fans. They’re Apostolic in a word. At the same time, you also recognize that others aren’t quite there. They’re somewhere in the middle. They’re Committed. (At least for now.) Others still land somewhere else. Maybe they’re Skeptical and need more information. What about those who might be Indifferent? They’ll need even more and different information, if you want to move them ahead.
For the sake of brevity, perhaps your company’s Mindset Map looks something like this:
Indifferent >> Skeptical >> Curious >> Engaged >> Committed >> Apostolic
Or like this:
Hostile >> Doubtful >> Open
The messages required to move someone from Indifferent to Skeptical or from Hostile to Doubtful are not the same messages that will move them from Committed to Apostolic. And it’s unlikely anyone is going from Indifferent to Apostolic in one fell swoop either.
Mapping your audience’s mindset to messaging is a key component of how we approach communications at Stern Strategy Group. We are big believers in the idea that communications strategy is messaging strategy. Our Mindset Mapping workshops are intended to help pinpoint not only how audiences feel about your company but the specific “reasons to believe” that will move them from one state of mind to another and the right channels to best communicate your messages.
If you’d like to learn more, we’d love to hear from you.