MEDIA BEYOND THE NUMBERS: The psychological power of media is so prevailing that professionals within the marketing media space sometimes tend to undermine its true social impact.
Media consists of a variety of audiences that marketers desire to communicate and engage with to solve or achieve their marketing objectives. In a progressive economy, media plays a critical role in informing and entertaining society and consumers. Broadcast and published media are critical in our lives as the are where we gain access to notable events, weather and sports bulletins.
Audiences are loyal and dependent on media brands
Audiences are loyal to media brands that resemble their culture, lifestyle and beliefs. Audiences continue to display strong feelings towards the specific media brands that frequently deliver content that speaks to their interests. The advertising that comes with the media consumption is the by-product in the minds of consumers. Advertising is not the main, actual product or service of media.
Consumers do not drive to work or to the local shopping mall/centre excited to see some billboard advertising, nor do they wake up at 3am Monday morning to watch Game of Thrones excited to see some television commercials. Consumers certainly do not login to social networks excited to view some advertising. The messaging connection between audiences and marketers cannot happen without the media channel and the media brand, respectively.
Audiences follow content, user generated or planned. Media channels deliver content, which audiences support. The SABC 1 show Uzalo on Wednesday, 27 March 2019 delivered 9.1 million viewers and a 65% share of the 20:30-21:00 time band. Marketers collaborate with media brands to reach highly engaged loyal audiences. For instance, according to the Broadcast Research Council (BRC RAM Jul’18-Dec 2018), 68% of South African listeners only listen to one radio station, they are loyal to their media brands especially African language radio brands because they can relate to the content.
Frequency builds ad recall
In media terminology, coverage is the total advertising pool of readership (or listenership or viewership or usership) of a specific media vehicle, normally within the past four weeks. Audience reach, on the other hand, pertains to the number of people who were reached within a target market. The psychology play here is towards the comprehension of total coverage in strategic media planning i.e. reach curves.
Media campaign frequency is defined as the number of times on median average that a person within a target market is exposed to an advert. High frequency across a highly engaged target market builds strong ad recall. The psychology is driven by building ratios and strategic analyses to understand at which point a frequency ratio indicates that the target market has understood the message.
The psychology of frequency in media planning across media channels, including digital, is based on predicting the contextualised number of exposures it would take consumers to understand a campaign message, and which phase of the media strategy (awareness or consideration) requires higher number of exposures. More so, how long and how frequent the ad copy requires creative interchange.
Figure 1. Frequency
Source: Advertising media planning seventh edition jack z. sissors and roger b. baron
The psychology approach
Beyond numbers media is about consumer psychology, from channel coverage to campaign reach, and determining the efficient amount messaging frequency that enables ad recall. The apprehension of the target market relevance has higher commercial performance than a broad approach (target market could further be defined as consumers who are in the market or in the consideration phase and are about to purchase a new affordable, light fuel-consuming vehicle). This is to give target market more description above demographics.
South African media currency research does track and monitor media brand loyalty in media channel consumption. For ad recall or action taken in campaign performance analysis, some metrics are to an extent irrelevant when using media for commercial marketing purposes. It takes qualitative data to source audience insights on media channel psychology pertaining to media strategy and planning (reach, frequency and gross-rating points).
How many times did you have to play your favourite song for you to have memorised the lyrics word for word? How many times does it take you to study modules for exams? How many times does complex subject matter needs to be repeated before it is understood. How many times do media assets need to be flighted, published or served for audiences to act upon the messaging? Gross Rating Points are a percentage reach of target audience, multiplied with frequency. Does this indicate that the advert has been seen, viewed or listened to enough for audiences to act on the message? Understanding that takes the media effect in consumer psychology.
Source: //www.businessdictionary.com/definition/advertising-coverage.html. Seventh edition; 2010; Advertising media planning jack z. sissors and roger b. baron
Nkateko Mongwe is a media analytics, market research and data insights specialist. He is one of a few industry hybrid media insights strategists with all round experience from leading media owners, leading media agency group and at client side leading national brand. He is a contributing member of the IAB research council and the Publisher Research Council research committee. He was one of the judges of the yearly AMASA 2018 Awards. He featured in The Media magazine’s MOST Awards edition. A passionate, opinionated writer and media analytics presenter/speaker. @datainsights88
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