Radio-Hed-Logo-2By Jeffrey Hedquist

Okay, you wanted more specific details on what should be in the Audience Needs Analysis. Here they are.

Background information: Research client’s business – RAB Instant backgrounds, Google, client’s web site, other advertising. Research client’s competitors – web sites, advertising. Field research – buy something at client’s store, or over the phone, or online. Eat at the restaurant, visit the club, and shop there. Do the same with the competitors. What’s the purchasing experience like? Look for unique qualities, services, approaches, people. Intensive field research – stand outside the client’s business and ask 20 customers why they bought there. This will be very revealing. You’ll learn things the client doesn’t even know. Discovery – talk with the client and RECORD the conversations as well as take notes. This will give you the information you need to create years of successful campaigns. You may not need all these questions, but here are some possibilities. Ask:

What they like to do for fun. What’s their family like?

What goals do they have for the business? Do they want to expand it? Consolidate it? Sell it? Pass it on to their heirs? Sell it to the employees? Move it? Open branches all over the world?

What do they hate about the business? Love about it?

What keeps them awake at night? The good, the bad, the ugly.

What do they do that’s special and different that no one knows about? What secret recipes, techniques, skills or history do they have? Any  interesting or unusual customer stories? What’s the most surprising, unusual thing that’s happened to them or to one of their customers?

What do their competitors have that they don’t? What do they have that their competitors don’t? Why do they think people shop there? How does the listening audience perceive the client’s business? (Ask for the best and worst scenarios.)  How would they like listeners to feel about the business?

The most important question to ask: What emotional problem does the advertiser solve for the customer? Keep going deeper until you get an appropriate answer. Better prices, convenience or technical assistance don’t count. I call it “peeling the onion.” The answer will be a basic need: love, acceptance, validation, etc. This will be the core to build your campaign around.

How does the advertiser solve it? This is the second element to build your story around. Listen for stories. As you talk with your client, listen for unique stories with emotional content that you or your creative department can flesh out into a continuing campaign.

© 2004 Hedquist Productions, Inc.

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