Creating memorable brand experiences and consumer interactions doesn’t happen overnight, and it certainly won’t happen with one endorsement-read ad. It boils down to specific ingredients that make up a holistic approach to advertising.

As the chief marketing officer of an audio and podcast advertising agency, I’ve seen ads that flop and ads that reach the right audiences, address their wants and needs, and are captivating enough to actually sell your products and services. One of those ingredients to successful ads is thorough research.

Here’s a deep dive into this important aspect behind captivating copywriting and a look at how good research translates to compelling, results-driven ads.

Why research?

What is the point of research? Don't we already know our target audiences? Not well enough.

Research requires taking the overarching business problem we’re trying to solve and determining how we can connect that to our consumers' wants and needs. We must ask the right questions in order to find the solutions our customers are looking for.

The research stage is about understanding all of the information so we can dive into further, in terms of not just the brand, but also the person we are talking to. Successful ad copy speaks to the listener's motivations, not just their demographic.

Ask all the questions.

Before you begin writing, the goal is to understand as much as possible. When writing an ad, write what you know. Don't go to the blank page with a hypothesis. To connect with your audience, you need to have all the input on the front end in order for the output to be valuable.

Podcasts are a special medium because fan bases are incredibly dedicated to the shows and the hosts. Copywriters need to know everything about those listeners to know what will resonate with them and why they are so connected to a show. Then, they can take those ideas and use copywriting to marry the specific brand with the host’s personal spin, so the experience is completely authentic.

Know your audience.

The focus is on understanding the customer first, but what do you do with all of the information after that? While information is important, it’s not enough. Gathering information doesn’t solve the problem.

The second part of researching is even more crucial to telling a compelling story. Analyzing the information to find some sort of core truth will ultimately tell a larger narrative your consumer can relate to. In podcasting, no one knows their audience better than the host of a show. Hosts have a good idea of their key listener breakdown, but finding that universal truth helps copywriters motivate those listeners.

So, what’s the big idea?

Once you have a truth that resonates with not only the audience, but also the brand and the product, it’s time to start developing what creatives call "the big idea." This comes from the raw material -- all that research and the understanding we did earlier to prove this isn’t guesswork. It’s that deconstruction and reconstruction that makes research an important part of the creative process. We’re ultimately connecting the data we gathered to relate to our everyday reality.

Find your big-picture view.

The big-picture view is essential in completing the buyer’s journey. Every interaction you have with a brand starts at square one: awareness. The role of advertising is simply to raise that awareness and then connect the dots to the next stage in the journey, which is interest. The customer journey can be broken down into five primary stages: awareness, interest, consideration, decision and result. Without research, you simply can’t inform the rest of the customer’s journey.