One thing that can be forgotten with all of the focus on data intelligence and communication channels is the message. You can create the perfect target audience and employ every channel available to be in front of the ideal prospect over and over, but if the message does not “speak” to them, they will never act.
First, it is important to be conscious of the current environment. A year or two ago, it was common to see a “take a vacation” theme in equity advertising. That was before the pandemic. That theme may become relevant again as restrictions get lifted, but the current focus is on home improvements. A study from Porch.com shows home improvement spends are at an all-time high and Google searches for home improvement were up 50% in the third quarter of 2020. People spent a lot of time at home over the last year and have found many projects to make their home a better place. In addition, the current real estate market has made it hard for people to get new homes so they are resorting to major additions to their current homes.
The other area of focus when it comes to the message is who you are speaking to. When doing the profile of existing equity customers, you may find that the typical borrower is between ages 35 and 65. That might seem like a narrow band, but the 35-year old borrower will be at a different stage of life than the 65-year old borrower and will probably be borrowing for different reasons. Creating personas within the target audience can greatly enhance your ability to craft the message and images that will most resonate with each specific group.
Basic demographics like age, income, marital status, and presence of children will allow you to create your own personas. However, there are many segmentation systems like P$ycle, Symphony and Tapestry that allow you to get very granular in the groupings (if you so desire), and they are professionally built. Just using the top-level segments will provide more than enough differentiation in messaging for a typical campaign.
The best part is that with today’s technology, it is very easy to alter the text and images for each of the personas with very little additional cost… even with direct mail! Digital printing allows for images and text to be personalized to every recipient. Of course, that can be carried over to the email with very little effort and the customization of the digital ads is only limited to the number of files you want to create. Studies show that depending on how it is implemented, personalization can increase response rates anywhere from 50% to 300%, so it is well worth the effort on a campaign such as equity.