With the rapid evolution of media and integrated brand communication, content targeted at consumers (from both a macro, traditional media channel perspective, and micro perspective where consumers engage one on one with a brand) has become a key focus area.
We used to quote Marshall McLuhan glibly and say “the medium is the message”. This generally meant the media channel superseded the content in importance, and the media type or channel influenced how the consumer perceived the message.
This is no longer the case. Consumers are time-strapped and more determined to spend time and headspace on content that resonates with them and that they trust. Relevance is of utmost importance. We therefore need to flip the quotation around to say, “the message is the medium” and no longer target content at consumers, but allow them to immerse themselves in the content.
Content needs to be placed in areas where people are likely to find it easily, and want to find it, using all the data we collect from customers and consumers. We have to create a unified view of the target market and apply this to the entire media strategy.
With this in mind, media planning, or conversation engineering, requires a multichannel approach that aims to provide consumers with a seamless and fully integrated experience with a brand.
So how does media strategy and planning, and more specifically out of home, fit into this new way of thinking? The consumer, and no longer the channel, is placed in the centre of media strategy, where after we can determine how they consumer media – when and where.
The channel therefore becomes secondary, as the content, whether a billboard copy line or aural message on Snapchat, needs to be placed within the consumer’s environment. This strengthens out of home’s benefits and ability to reach consumers where they are while out and about.
Funnel of influence
It’s all about place-based marketing and engineering the conversation with relevant triggers and content. The funnel of influence still requires high reach, brand-building broadcast formats as a foundation to any out of home strategy. From there we are able to construct a path through the environment that the consumer lives within from high impact billboards all the way to the till point.
Static and digital out of home formats are tailored according to the environment and enable tactical messaging to become more relevant and geo-demographic, and even by daypart. The touchpoints therefore become more focused and guide the consumer to where you want them to be, or tell them what you want them to do, once you have them engaged.
Out of home advertising has come to the fore, and should now form an integral and larger part within media strategies. As David Ogilvy always stated, “Don’t count the people you reach, reach the people that count”.
Out of home reaches those where it counts, in a cost-effective and efficient manner, and contributes significantly to the bottom-line, where it counts.
Lyn Jones is regional manager of In Touch Media in Gauteng. Previously, Jones was the marketing and research manager for JCDecaux in sub-Saharan Africa (formerly Continental Outdoor Media), a position she held for nearly 12 years. She also played a role in the development, registration, and research methodology for the OMC (a non-profit organisation for the OOH industry) and ROAD Survey.
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