Product Feature: Message Assessment to Understand Audience Sentiment
Sentiment matters. But who has time to talk about feelings?
Understanding sentiment may be the most underrated step in developing marketing materials. Or, more accurately, understanding the sentiment of the target audience.
When time is of the essence (always) and resources are limited (also, pretty much always), the team developing print materials, video content, logos, and the like must rely on their instincts and professional know-how to determine what looks good and what may resonate. But when those decisions are made in a vacuum, even if done out of necessity, it can lead to unclear, unattractive, or inauthentic messaging in the eyes of the intended audience. Yet, focus groups take time to organize. They are not always well attended, and for that reason, the insights are often difficult to apply to our work. Enter Carnegie’s Message Assessment workshops
Human connection in message development
For decades, Carnegie has trusted in the power of human connection, not only when applied to marketing strategies but also when developing those strategies. We find that workshops are more effective than traditional focus groups. Participants are engaged during the workshop process, not just because they’re part of the conversation but because they are part of creating the solution. The insights gleaned from these workshop-style assessments go beyond simply identifying design or copy that people “like” and get at the heart of why they are attracted to it. That way, you and your team have a more precise direction for the project at hand that can be applied to many other related initiatives.
Message Assessment: What is it? How does it work?
Carnegie’s Message Assessment service is a solution that offers a quick turnaround along with rich insights from the intended audience of your campuses’ marketing materials through the use of high-energy, engaging workshops. If your target audience is prospective students, we invite current students who recently went through the admissions process to these sessions. There they will interact with components of your existing messaging platform. Through these interactions, we can understand their perspectives on the authenticity of your message. We can determine what is appealing to the audience, what may be unclear and how to fix it, and how your message does or does not set you apart.
This is not a standard focus group. Instead, we keep participants moving, talking, working, and interacting with your marketing materials. From that, we can pull honest and valuable feedback that we collate into meaningful trends and recommendations for your next iteration of message development.
This does not take months. From workshops to deliverables, we can give you results in 4-6 weeks. Therefore, it is the perfect project to start as you prepare to refresh your current materials. Results are quick and actionable, and we give them to you in a format ready to be circulated so you can have the conversations you need to have within your department or around campus to make changes.
This IS a way to add sentiment back into your planning process. We know time is tight, and resources are few. But, if you don’t consider your target audience’s opinions, feelings, and motivations, you’ll waste more time and resources on blind revisions that never feel quite right. Let us do the work so you know what will work, making your messages resonate more clearly and authentically with the populations that matter most to you.