transforming messaging
Going From “What” to “Why:” 3 Tips about Transforming Messaging

When it comes to marketing, the most effective campaigns have strong, clear messaging. There’s no question as to what the campaign is about or who the intended audience is. This doesn’t mean that effective marketing cannot be clever or creative, but it does need to hit home with the desired audience. 

In addition to a massive renovation, Port Discovery Children’s Museum decided to refresh their communications to align with their updated space. They were re-imagining the idea of “play” within their physical location with state-of-the-art exhibits and experiences for families, and it made sense to revamp their messaging and strategy to directly align with their audience. At our November AMA in the PM, Abbi Ludwig, Director of Marketing at Port Discovery, spoke about the process of transforming messaging, the importance of communications, and more. Here are our key takeaways:

  1. Think Beyond the Transaction.

Many marketers think in transactions. “If you buy this, then you will have that.” End of story, right? Wrong.

Marketers need to think beyond the transaction. Yes, the end product or service is important, but it is just as important to look at how your audience feels after interacting with your brand. Ludwig created a “Before/After” grid to illustrate the customer’s “ideal after,” where the “before” column lists how the customer feels before purchasing your product/service, and the “after” column shows how they feel after purchasing your product/service. Looking at the ideal after allows marketers to see what the client is going to have and how they should feel. This information will drive your statement of value and create a cohesive theme in your marketing efforts.

  1. Make Collaboration a Priority.

One of the most important skills a marketer can have is collaboration, and Port Discovery had plenty of it. The museum was going through an extensive remodel—in their space and in their marketing, and this required effective communication. Ludwig said that the entire team held meetings to discuss strategy and tactics. Every department was represented in these meetings. Because they were collaborating and in constant communication, the marketing department was able to adapt their strategy and hit the ground running throughout construction. 

Many people want to joke about the redundancy of meetings, but strategy meetings are important for organizations. Marketing needs to be aware of what sales is doing and vice versa. Without that communication, companies run the risk of losing time, money, and more because their teams will not be working together efficiently.

  1. Make the Client Your Hero.

If you understand your audience, then you know who your hero is. Port Discovery’s heroes were moms with one or more young children. They want to feel like a successful parent with happy, healthy children. They wanted to create experiences that made their kids happy, made parenting easier, and gave them more time with their kids. Port Discovery understood not only who their hero was, but what they needed to feel after interacting with the museum. 

A marketer’s goal is to create brand advocates. Port Discovery went through their renovation to offer more opportunities for their heroes, which allowed Ludwig and her team to develop creative campaigns for their audience. Campaigns featuring happy parents and children with the words “#parentingwin” were fun and clearly conveyed the outcome of an afternoon at Port Discovery. If a person sees the ad, purchases tickets for their family, and has a blast, then Port Discovery will have a hero advocate—a #marketingwin.

It’s easy to sit in your own space and daydream about wonderful campaigns with beautiful graphics and copy. However, if those campaigns do not align with your company or your audience’s needs, then it will fall flat and fail. Understanding your audience and creating strong, clear messaging is essential for any marketing success. 

Thank you to Abbi Ludwig and Port Discovery for the fantastic presentation. To stay up-to-date on events, visit our events page.