content strategy

Simply telling the story isn’t enough anymore

At Makmende we’re lucky enough to work with clients that have great stories to tell. Unfortunately, they often have a hard time getting people’s attention. Because, who’s listening anyway? Simply telling the story isn’t enough anymore. You need a plan, a strategy.

We believe that good strategy means looking beyond yourself and towards your target audience. What does your audience care about? What are they talking about? And how are they communicating?

Then you look for common ground, where does their story meet yours? In other words: how can you connect?

Sometimes you need to think out of the box to make that connection. To inspire ourselves, and our clients, we’re always looking for examples of successful strategic thinking. Here’s an example of effective communication by Harpic (yes, the famous toilet cleaner). They managed to get rural families in India to buy into home toilets with a simple, yet effective plan.

Harpic’s objective was clear: get more people in rural areas to adopt a home toilet. This would improve sanitation and health, and eventually also boost Harpic’s business. But, it was easier said than done. They knew that countless awareness-raising efforts had failed. Apparently, having a toilet was low on people’s priority list, even if they could afford it. So they needed to look at the problem from a different angle. McCann, the agency that Harpic hired to do create the communications strategy, had to find a way to get toilets higher on the priority list. They looked at things that families were willing to spend money on. What they found was that people would spend on items that were considered status symbols.
So then the challenge became: how do you turn a toilet into a status symbol?

successful content strategy

They noticed that in these regions Indians were spending a fortune on what is known as ‘The Great Indian Wedding. It’s the ultimate display of any family’s status.
And it all begins with the the Great Indian Wedding ad – A newspaper matrimonial ad.
Each expensive word here is loaded with status connotations.
The agency came up with a trick: they offered free matrimonial ads if the advertiser added 5 extra ‘status’ words – “Home Must Have Clean Toilet.”

Harpics campaign reached 13 million people. 30% ads included these 5 status words. This completely changed the conversations around toilets – and marriages. Even a Bollywood movie came out on the issue! By making matrimonial pages a deafening call for clean toilets, they made clean toilets india’s newest status symbol.

We think this campaign worked because the strategy is based on a thorough understanding of the people’s reality. The objectives were clear from the start and they never compromised on the message. ‘Home must have clean toilet’ is precisely what they wanted to communicate stripped down to its bare essence. The beauty of it is that they found a way to connect with ‘real people’, not some anonymous ‘target audience’.

At Makmende we create strategies that help you connect and activate your target audiences. Don’t just tell your story, make people connect to it.

Source of the case: 1. MAT APRIL 2017, IMRB HH PANEL 2. MAT JUNE 2017, IMRB HH PANEL 3. YTD SEPTEMBER 2017, NIELSEN

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