Most media owners agree that selling advertising is tougher than ever in an industry that has become cluttered and fragmented. There is fiercer competition between a growing list of platforms, even as print, broadcast and other traditional media companies try to reinvent themselves for a new consumer and technology landscape.
Brands, meanwhile, face shrinking marketing budgets as well as the need to stretch their rand further. Marketers need to spread their spend over a growing list of channels and markets to reach an increasingly fragmented customer base, even as management demands that they show tangible returns in the form of leads and conversion.
Indeed, we’re increasingly seeing our client and agency brands hire people who can statistically model the returns they are getting from their marketing spend. Today’s media salesperson must thus be able to build a strong case for return on investment, based on sound numbers and analytic insight.
So how do you break through with your messaging? Mediamark recently won two AMASA awards for the best trade marketing campaigns – we did so by blending real-world and social elements to capture attention, create disruption and build connections among our agency and client partners.
To stand out in today’s landscape, brands need to think about how they can extend engagement and build relationships with customers and prospects rather than just about which media type or outlet offers them the best price, reach and frequency. This is about synthesising channels and media into a complete engagement solution.
Here are just some best practices we have identified.
Embrace integrated marketing strategies
Today’s most successful campaigns integrate a number of platforms, media and channels to maximise reach, frequency, engagement and amplify messaging. Rather than allocating spend to different channels – print, PR, TV, digital, outdoor and radio – and measuring them separately, brands look at how they can be connected to offer a complete customer experience and to reach the target audience as effectively and efficiently as possible.
Watch out for new and developing platforms
Change is the new constant for marketers—mobile and social media have changed consumer behaviour forever. We need to track how particular platforms are evolving and changing to meet these changes.
Our radio brands for example are following a digital-first strategy, which means that social media and online content drive the on-air offering. This is a huge opportunity for advertisers to add a new dimension to their radio advertising. Another of our brands, MeMe, focuses on mobile engagement, incorporating gamification and content strategies to create extended, emotional customer engagements.
Augmented and virtual reality are also beginning to move closer to mainstream adoption. And the Internet of Things and wearable computers are also on the rise. These new devices will bring with them new ways to consume and create content. Marketers need to be constantly looking at how consumer behaviour is changing as new technologies come to the fore.
Focus and measurability make the difference
With today’s technology, creating a disruptive marketing campaign is less about using money to blanket the market than it is about capturing the audience’s attention with an innovative, creative execution. Thanks to social media and other digital platforms these can help us amplify, entertain, engage and educate relatively cost effectively.
Another way to create focus is to use platforms that offer data and insight into their market segments – one example of this is a recent addition to our portfolio, AdJoin. It provides a single programmatic solution that allows advertisers to access first-party data along to target specific segments with engaging advertising formats.
Advertisers need to use data at our disposal to measure and optimise performance, as well as to benchmark ROI. Creativity and real consumer data are a powerful combination. Mediamark, for example, is talking to clients about finding ways to measure the effectiveness of their campaigns through means ranging from guaranteed audience figures to cost per lead.
One of the best ways to navigate this complex landscape is to build genuine partnerships with media sales houses, media owners and agencies. At Mediamark, we believe that the key to success is long-term partnerships with media owners, brands and agencies that are based on sharing risk and reward.
Through solid relationships, we develop a deep understanding of each client’s business as well as how we can blend our media platforms into a complete solution that drives customer engagement.
Elements of personal identity – generation, home language, gender, ethnicity, et al – should always impact marketing and communication strategies and media choices way beyond just basic demographics. We love the fact that we live in such a diverse country with an array of different cultures and generations – Baby Boomers, Gen Xers, Millennials.
But it means we need to seek to understand what makes people from different backgrounds and generations tick so that we can offer ways of building genuine relationships with them – because they are ALL valuable to advertisers. What we are sure of is that what we have always done in the past cannot be recreated for the future.
As marketers, we face a range of challenges from channel complexity to budget pressure to the low attention spans and high expectations of today’s consumer. But there is also an opportunity for forward-thinking brands to create integrated campaigns that deliver a big ROI punch and a significant competitive advantage.
Charlie Wannell, Marketing Manager at Mediamark