I use the word stakeholders to mean the groups of different people that your organisation will need to communicate with. This includes: internally – the board, investors, employees; and externally – customers, suppliers, media. Every organisation will have a different blend of stakeholders.
The key stakeholder we need to thoroughly understand is the “most valuable customer.” What type of customer brings your business the most amount of value? Value will most likely mean different things to different people, but to illustrate here is a recent example from a contract manufacturing company we work with.
Having a state-of-the-art CNC machine in the factory means that they have the ability to cut almost any design from a huge range of materials. They defined value as the combination between the amount of revenue generated and the level of complexity involved in completing a job. This meant their most valuable customer wanted kitchens, wardrobes and garage storage cabinetry.
In a world where the average consumer is exposed to up to 10,000 brand messages a day, getting to know this most valuable customer is essential to break through the noise. The human brain is the best ad blocker ever invented – what is it going to take for your message to resonate?
The answer is context. To answer the question another way, let’s ask: how did Donald Trump win the presidential election with one of the smallest campaign budgets?
In March 2016, the New York Times published an article that includes the research from mediaQuant, a firm that tracks media coverage of each candidate and computes a dollar value based on advertising rates, providing a comparison of bought versus free media.
All candidates benefit from “earned media” – the news and commentary on traditional and social media channels. Earned media typically dwarfs paid media in a presidential campaign. What makes the difference, and is very possibly the answer to the question posed, is that Trump is far better at earning media than any other candidate.