CATMEDIA is one of the most laurel-laden marketing and advertising companies in the Metro-Atlanta area. Each year, we acquire more clients who have nothing but praise to sing of our work. How do we do it? Well, success isn’t an accident. Here is how CATMEDIA intertwines creativity with strategy to bring the best product to our clients.
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Target Market Analysis
A shockingly difficult thing for most people to discern, when tailoring the content of your website to your target audience, you have to think about the specific person to whom you are marketing. Think about your product or service that you provide and think about the person who would seek that out.
Here’s an example of how the very words you choose can conjure up different images and market to different people. Say you are inviting friends to a dinner-party. Think about the two phrases: “a hearty feast” and “a cordial banquet.” Both technically mean the same thing, a large pleasant meal. But one is earthier, and probably would include lots of meat and a fire. The other sounds classier, like it would include champagne and nice dress. But the differences in these phrases are the roots of the words. One is based in Anglo-Saxon & Germanic words—which historically in our culture are the vernacular of the lower class. The other is based on French & Latin words—conversely the languages spoken by the upper classes in our cultural history.
Simplistic or complicated language can be targeted to different people. For example, books I loved when I was reading in the sixth grade seem clunky and blunt to me now. Think about the language your target audience uses, and how they would best receive information.
Younger people and older folks communicate differently. My Nana, bless her heart, likes to exclaim interest and excitement with the phrase, “Well isn’t that a sight?” She’ll say it when talking about a song she likes, she’ll say it about a funny story, she’ll say it about things that she can’t even see and therefore aren’t actually sights. But the phrase means something different to her, it’s a vernacular phrase from her lifetime that just means something to the effect of “Isn’t that amazing!” Another example: It’s been more than a decade since the height of the emo-fad in pop culture, but my mom (bless her heart) still doesn’t know what that word means.
Language changes in sometimes obvious and sometimes subversive ways through generations, and when marketing to your target customer, you need to keep in mind how old or young they are. Should you write content that is more recognizable within your vocabulary, but not to another older or younger individual, you could end up turning off your potential client or customer.
The Big Idea
As I sit at my desk trying to write this, I find myself with little real thought on how to proceed. There exists a common misconception that creativity and coming up with new, exciting ideas is easy, but coming up with ideas is hard. So now that we’ve accepted the difficulty of the task ahead of us, let’s move forward and talk about brainstorming techniques and strategies for finding that next big idea.
When brainstorming ideas, it’s always good to have some semblance of organization. Lists are probably the simplest and least time-consuming way to organize your thoughts into something coherent. It also enables you to worry less about if an idea is a good idea and more about simply coming up with ideas.
A common type of list people use is a pros and cons list. Pros and cons lists are especially useful when you already have an idea but need to explore whether it is a good idea worth following through. Another type of list is the category list. This is a broader type of list, where you simply put an idea into whatever category, represented by a column it belongs to.
Often for brainstorming, the list is less important than the freedom your mind is allowed when working within it. Having a list is not what you should focus on, but rather you should be on the lookout for that spark. Lists are more of a conduit than a product insofar as brainstorming should be concerned.
As mishaps, mistakes, or changes in circumstance come along, don’t be afraid to deviate from your original plan. A lot of times, when you are in the middle of working, you’ll get new directions from a client, or you’ll find yourself wondering if there isn’t a better way to do something now that your hands are getting sandy. Take this as an opportunity to make your work better.
Then there are instances where you just messed up. The best thing to do in those moments is to figure out how and why things didn’t go according to plan. Was it an oversight, was there a fault in the plan, or did your hand just slip? Figuring out where you went wrong is an integral part in becoming better. We all learn from our mistakes, but it is our job to make sure we learn the right thing.
On the other hand, there are such things as happy accidents. Sometimes you’ll find that you like a mistake, or you’ll find that the mistake allowed you to re-do something and make a better product after the fact. Optimism is your best friend in the creative process, and it’s important that you hold onto those silver linings.
To balance creativity and strategy, you need to have a lot of experience on hand. Luckily, CATMEDIA has over 20 years of that. For more information on how CATMEDIA can take your vision and turn it into motion, be sure to troll through our gallery or shoot us an email.
CATMEDIA is an award-winning Inc. 500 company based in Atlanta, Georgia. Founded in 1997, the company specializes in advertising, creative services, media production, program management, training, and human resource management. As a Women Owned Small Business (WOSB), CATMEDIA provides world-class customer service and innovative solutions to government and commercial clients. Current CATMEDIA clients include Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Office of Personnel Management (OPM), and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).