TLDR: Don’t fall into the trap of mistaking movement for momentum. Identify the Audience, Belief, Creative, Distribution and End Result of everything using this simple framework to increase the likelihood of generating value through your marketing.
Your boss sends you a Slack message. “Numbers are down – we need to do something, pronto!” it reads.
Fear washes over you. Desperately, you start pulling together a campaign plan on a scrap piece of paper that includes whatever you think will move the needle even a little bit.
Before you know it, you’re eyeballs deep in writing a three-page press release and brushing up your Premiere Pro skills to edit up a bunch of old webinar clips into a crummy ‘trends montage’.
It’s OK – I’ve been there. Moving for the sake of moving and confusing this movement for momentum. Unfortunately, it’s incredibly common in early-stage marketing teams. Throw everything at the wall and hope something sticks.
Very little usually does.
That’s why I use the ABCDE framework. It’s a tool to evaluate whether something will add value.
This could be writing a piece of content, devising a campaign, or making an investment with an external partner – or anything in between. If it’s going to be seen by the outside world, I run it through the framework.
It stands for Audience, Belief, Creative, Distribution and End Result. Let me break it down for you.
First and foremost, who am I targeting with this activity? More specific the better. Is it a specific segment of my target customer base? What research do I have on this profile? Do I have a buyer persona I can refer to?
Many companies spend hundreds of hours working on a campaign with only a loose idea of who it is exactly they’re doing it for. Or they try and appeal to everyone in a single swoop. Both instances result in a tepid execution that leads nowhere.
If you’re unable to identify exactly who it is that will be reading, watching or experiencing whatever it is you are about to go out and create, it’s back to the drawing board you go.
Want to know how to cut through the noise? Have something interesting to say.
I don’t mean to sound facetious, but it’s true. If you can put a unique spin or angle on a topic relevant to your target buyers, you will stand out from the competitors who are all saying the same thing as each other.
Your goal here is to outline what it is you’re trying to convey, why your audience should care and why you are the only one in the world who can say it.
Here’s where we start to get into some of the practicalities. What is the asset(s) you’re setting out to create (e.g. blog, video, podcast)? What are the creative requirements? Are there any brand or style guidelines that must be followed?
You can also use this section to identify who is exactly responsible for each deliverable and against what timelines.
If the content is king, distribution is the throne upon which it sits.
Don’t fall into the trap of forgetting about how you’re going to get your work in front of the people you want to see it. Way too many marketers spend all their time creating and none of their time distributing – and then wonder why their results are crap.
Identify exactly where your assets are going to live, how you’re going to promote the campaign and across what channels, and whether it will link to any other existing assets.
You should also outline any repurposing efforts, too.
#5. End Result
What is the quantifiable, measurable result(s) we will use to determine whether our work has been a success?
Ideally, you want to focus on one North Star metric – the more you add, the greater the risk you dilute your focus. But that will depend on whatever it is you’re using the ABCDE framework to evaluate.
Don’t fall into the trap of mistaking movement for momentum. Identify the Audience, Belief, Creative, Distribution and End Result of everything using this simple framework to increase the likelihood of generating value through your marketing.