10 Ways to Beat Competition: Way 6 – Using Media
Media is the collective communication outlets or tools that are used to store and deliver information or data. It is either associated with communication media, or the specialized mass media communication businesses such as: print media and the press, photography, advertising, cinema, broadcasting (radio and television) and publishing. (Wikipaedia)
Do you know that most decisions these days are actually made for us by the media; who should rule us, what we should eat, how we should look, what to believe, who should be celebrated and even who we should patronize? Media tells us A is better than B, and often we would not try B to find out why. Media is a big tool in swaying opinion and influencing choice, and this is why the media is essential in your battle to stay ahead of competition.
Using Media to edge competition is simply based on how you can communicate your USP and leave a lasting impression on your target. In a situation where the products or services in the market are homogenous (are almost identical), to outwit competition, you must be able to communicate to the target market what makes your product/service standout while also creating the impression that keeps your product in their subconscious. Therefore we can divide media into two parts; communication and impression.
Communication is simply passing a message across to an end user, who is able to decode and use the message as intended. For a business to use Media-communication as a means of beating competition the following must be done:
- Identify the target market: A good business must be able to identify who the target market is, this may be as a result of research or product/service design. Product or service could be designed for youths, singles, old, rich, entrepreneurs, students, etc.
- Select the media type to be used: Depending on the target market, a media approach is selected. It could be the electronic/mass media, print media or social media. For instance, if the target market is the youth or the students, then the best media type to use would be the social media.
- Encode the message: The essence of using media is to communicate with your target market. However, communication only takes place, when the business can safely pass across the original message to the target market without distortion or the message losing its intended meaning. For a business to achieve this, the message should be encoded in such a way that it is simple, precise, unambiguous, impressionable and direct.
- Deliver the message: The message is finally relayed to the target. The message is suppose to inform the target market why they need your product/service. As earlier stated, the Unique Selling Point (USP) is emphasized that is, focusing on why your product/service stands out.
- Get and review feedback: The business creates avenue to get feedbacks from target and then to review those feedback to know, if the result was as intended. Feedbacks are gotten from impact on sales, revenue, commendations and/or complaints, and then it is compared with what is expected, to see if the communication process has to be reviewed or sustained.
Impression is a measurement of responses (mostly feeling or connection) generated by an event, often times creating urge or need in the present or future. Creating impression can be a huge task; often times experts in this field may be required as what seems impressing to one person may not be to another. However some basic requirements must be met to create a lasting impression:
- Unforgettable slogan or catch phrase: There must be words that are unforgettable; these words are usually referred to as slogans. They are attention catching, often making the target inquisitive or crave for more. These words often re-echo in the subconscious of the target.
- Image that can create impression: This is using logo or images that are easily identified with the product or reminds the target of the product. Little wonder, most big brands want to use models and icons for their media adverts; an image that makes impression on the target and registers the need to identify with the product too, in the subconscious of the target.
- Attention grabbing colours: Colours set moods and often carry with them unique messages. So while selecting colours for your media reach out, the right colours that leave the desired impression must be considered. For instance, red gives that loving feeling, blue relieves stress, yellow registers faster with kids etc.
- Quality: Quality of media production is very important to create the right impression. A shabby production actually puts the target off, even before the message can be absorbed. If the budget is low, other things may be sacrificed but not the quality.
Currently of all media outlets, social media is the most thriving. In recent times statistics have been unbelievable, Facebook recorded over 1.65 billion users as at 31st of March, 2016, that is, approximately 1 of every 4 people in the world can be reached via Facebook, and nothing beats that reach. Also recently a new game Pokeman Go reached over 75 million downloads in few days, what Television could not do in years. Social Media is currently like a gold mine; your best bet at beating competition and to also get real-time feedbacks on you business.
Media allows you to communicate and create impression sufficient to influence your target market’s choice. But the battle is not over yet, I implore you to stay tuned to what comes next on 10 Ways to Beat Competition way 7.