Most young businesses know they need to refine their go-to market messaging right off the bat. They need to know what value they bring to their audience, and how to talk about that value in a way that will make people take action – and take out their pocketbook.
Agile startups often test multiple iterations of their product as well – tweaking what they offer in small ways until they find the offer that can connect and go viral.
Working with startups is exciting in part because our usual message testing does more than create an effective ad campaign – our marketing know-how can actually have an impact on the development of the product itself.
The Challenge: A mental health start-up with big dreams to help people by making mental health care more accessible for a wider audience, entering a field where consumers have lots of fixed ideas about what mental health care looks like and who it is for. At the same time, the client suffered from an abundance of good ideas and selling points – so many that it was hard to focus on an overarching message.
When the startup came to us, they had packaged tailored services for three different demographics, and for each one they were pitching multiple benefits to their services:
The Solution: Test, test, and test some more!
As a start-up, our client knew they needed to make the most efficient use of their budget to increase brand awareness and build their client base.
This meant they needed to not just assume they knew the best value proposition for their audience – they needed to have proof.
To do this, we created a series of Facebook and Instagram ads that would create a baseline message about the brand and its services against multi-variate testing (e.g., audiences, copy, imagery) that would give us lots of data about the overall appeal of the service packages in addition to our marketing approach.
How We Approached It:
In order to set up our tests, we sat down with the client and broke down in detail:
After brainstorming, we created a “messaging hypotheses” document in which we paired audiences with the products and messages that the client and we thought would be most appealing.
We also did a deep dive on the client’s overall brand mission to create a baseline creative and message against which all the audiences and creatives would be tested. Essentially, testing overall company messaging against all groups.
We matched the plans against our client’s budget and created a realistic timeframe and structure for our ad campaign, and created a two-phased approach. The first phase would generate a host of data and early conclusions, and the second phase would refine the messaging, targeting, and service packaging to prove out the best combinations.
In the end, we were able to hand the client not only proven creative for a young brand, but significant insights into their target audiences and their mental health services that changed the way the client structured their product. On a total spend of approximately $2,000 split over our two phases, we were able to test dozens of creative iterations of the brand’s value proposition, marketing imagery, and audience targeting.
In phase one we narrowed down a top performing combination of creative and targeting (at $0.61 CPC, which is amazing for an unknown brand in the often-stigmatized mental health field). We found key messaging that worked for their brand across all three audiences, and pinpointed the audience among their initial targets that was most likely to take action on their services.
From there, the client was able to pivot in phase two from splitting their branding and voice across their primary brand and three demographic-based offerings, to promoting just the most successful value proposition which we were able to target at their most active demographic targets, and successfully test against their other demographic targets.
The client adapted their product messaging from our campaign learnings from separate tailored offerings under sub-brands, to one offering under their main brand that actually fit all of their demographics thanks to a clear and tested value proposition.
As the client moved forward focused now on conversions with their proven messaging and value propositions, we recommended: