We’ve all seen the stats! The average person is exposed to between 3 000 and 5 000 advertising messages every single day. And the volume just keeps growing.
Let’s look at South Africa’s largest medium. According to Millward Brown, the number of ads we are exposed to has grown exponentially year on year, with the only exception being a little dip during the recession. And these are only the television messages.
Increased fragmentation is seen across all media. Result? More adverts, more competition for the consumer’s attention. With brands continuously trying to connect with consumers, there is really no ad-free environment for the consumer. They are bombarded with brands, services and companies wanting their attention, if not their wallet!
Guess what the result is of all the clutter?
Millward Brown has done research comparing clutter and the influence of it on their Awareness Index (AI). The results conclusively show that the more ads audiences are exposed to, the lower the AI and therefore the impact of the ad. We all know that too long ad breaks provide the opportunity for more people to tune out, get coffee, and attend to other pressing needs – check Facebook, Twitter, and bodily functions! Conclusion? The more we are exposed to, the less we actually notice…
So how to get noticed?
One of the obvious solutions to overcome clutter is to spend more, or spend longer. Millward Brown in fact shows that advertisers are still better off trying to extend their exposure over more purchase cycles with a drip strategy than putting all their eggs in one basket with a burst strategy. But surely an answer of ‘spend more’ cannot satisfy most cash strapped clients? It sounds like the absolute cop-out in fact. Rather…..
Engage with your audience; that will get you noticed!
Of course the level of spend on TV is important. But surely if you can get consumers to become involved with your brand and its communication, you’re going to lift your head above the noise level? How?
The creative approach becomes the answer….
The first and simplest form of engagement is through the creative itself. Every brand needs awareness and at the beginning of a brand’s lifecycle. It’s logical that people don’t usually buy or engage with brands they don’t know. The answer to this level of engagement is to start the conversation with a mass audience – plus have strong branding elements that are memorable.
But this is first base. You need to take engagement to the next level!
A multi-media strategy. Select the right complementary media mix that ensures engagement on another level. This is especially important for established brands that are building relationships with their audience. Of course we need one-on-one engagement. But the trick is not to get wrapped up in one-on-one communication which reaches very few people at a very high cost per contact.
This opens up the challenge of mass engagement. The question we should be asking ourselves as communication professionals is how do we use mass media opportunities to attract a mass audience that will engage with our brand? Take radio for example, it is the original engaging mass media – the challenge is how we use the medium to entice the audience to engage in the conversation that we create. And of course digital is what started the engagement ball rolling really fast! With digital, every medium can become engaging. The key is that we start the conversation and that the conversation is relevant and interesting enough for the audience to continue to participate. And that is easier said than done.
Message clutter is increasingly higher, and this trend is expected to continue. As brand builders it is our role to understand the need for engagement on different levels and how we use this to break through the clutter. The answer to the ‘How of Engagement’ isn’t a one size fits all, because if it was, it would become the clutter itself!
Isla Stringer: The MediaShop
Spotlight on Digital
This week we are looking at social media…
•1.15 billion users world wide
•751 million users access Facebook from 7 000 different mobile devices
•23% of Facebook users check their account more than five times per day
•74% of marketers believe that Facebook is important for their lead generation strategy.
•Only has only 500 million users, 288 million of whom are active on a monthly basis
•28% all “retweets” happen because the original sender includes the phrase “please retweet”
•The fastest growing demographic is age 55-64 years old, registering an increase of 79%
•60% of Twitter users access via a mobile device. Approximately 20 million users are fake!
Source: Digital Insights
Richard Lord, the head of digital, The MediaShop
IMAGE: Wikimedia Creative Commons
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