Raising Awareness Is Pointless

8th May 2017 - 3 minutes read

BY Neil Hopkins

We’ve all seen the client briefs (or even agency pitches) which set their number one goal as ‘Raising Awareness’.

This is wrong.  Awareness is a pointless metric.  Awareness is standing in the street shouting into a megaphone while tweeting about it.

Your audience can be highly aware of your product, service or message.  Does this automatically mean that they will come to you when they need what you’re offering?

If you manage to get to top of mind status, that’s only useful insofar as it creates a condition for action, not the action itself.

Unless your offer is right there when a potential customer’s positive awareness recall is triggered, you have no guarantee that they’ll spend time and effort seeking you out instead of defaulting to a competitor.

If you want to change behaviours – and make those behaviours stick – you’ll need to move beyond awareness, drawing a map to action.

Stemming from a place of deep empathy with the customer, your map will need to cover different terrains and transit lines – the experiences and choices your customers will face as they move from where they are now to where you want them to be.

This is the only way to sell your offer and scale successfully.  And if you’re looking to move beyond the concept of ‘reputation management’, you need to be focusing on the actions that you will take, and that your customers will make.

We won’t lie to you.  This is hard.  And it’s not an overnight buy-more-media fix.

In the long run, selling awareness is simply selling yourself short.  So, please, everytime you see ‘Awareness’ in a business plan, pitch or promise, cross it out and write ACTION.

Then see what real changes come.

Moving beyond awareness will be one of the areas explored in our brand-new ‘How to Scale Your Story’ workshop, designed to help changemakers – like you – get closer to the art and science of storytelling that drives results.

Register now to be amongst the first to experience this new opportunity to delve deep into the future of effective communications.  

Neil Hopkins is an associate consultant.  Through social marketing and behaviour change practice, he works to create connections and conversations between individuals, communities and organisations to help positive social change flourish. Follow Neil on LinkedIn & Twitter.

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