The age of using consumer touchpoint data to define targeting strategies is almost becoming defunct. In fact, many insights specialists would argue that we are still thinking in silos based on this behaviour.
Journey-led consumer engagement improves ROI by at least 15% in the first year
The future of marketing requires the interception of consumer journeys to understand why the journey matters, what a brand can do to engage more effectively and, most importantly, how to remain consistent throughout that passage. Consumer journey research combined with ad-hoc analytics studies have proven to improve ROI by at least 15% in the first year for categories such as motoring, entertainment, and finance.
The current situation
Many successful global and local companies have relied on facts and figures delivered from analytics projects to help them understand where to invest marketing budgets as well as who to invest it in. The gap between these studies and hard consumer research executed by a brand is extensive, which often leads to a flaw in the marketing strategy.
Curiously, research and development is the least important pillar in most marketing plans today; although creativity is the driving force behind communications, assumption can never replace a foundation of definitive data.
Misalignment in media
This misalignment is not uncommon, especially in a media environment where there are a number of media platforms, strategies, and ideas available to meet marketing objectives.
However, the real world requires brands to not only ‘story tell’, which has been the buzzword over the last few years, but to empower their stories using data and research to understand what type of technology and design can be used to create consumer affinity and attraction.
Where do we go from here?
So the question remains: How do marketers respond, and what can be expected in the future?
In an environment where consumer consumption patterns are changing faster than we can measure, it is imperative for brands to create consumer experiences that do not focus on individual touchpoints, but more on the entire consumer ecosystem supported by hard statistics.
The key questions you need to ask yourself are:
- Have you intercepted the consumer journey effectively enough to start asking the right questions that help you see cumulative returns and not just outputs?
- And has this intelligence helped you to position your brand differently to break free from the war zone?
Claudelle Naidoo is MediaCom SA’s head of insights and new business director.