I’ve been having an ongoing conversation with a friend and colleague in the industry, Ms Piwe Motshegoa, GM of DStv Media Sales, around content, broadcast sponsorships and platforms.
Our ability to serve content directly to our audiences has increased tremendously – and the number of platforms enabling us to target our messages have become even clearer. Piwe’s big buzzword is all about ‘environment’ every time I mention content. Her premise is that all the content we are serving forces us to be deliberate about the ‘environment’ in which we serve it, whether it’s on the first, second, third or fourth screens.
Lauren Manning writes that “Content is the last C word of marketing and digital media – often misused, never defined and frequently offensive to the ears.” In fact, when people think about content, they think it’s the “stuff we’re going to upload to the thing” and discussions around content are inextricably blended with those about the media channels (platforms on which they live) and the experience that consumers have consuming that content.
Our evolution as consumers and marketers has unlocked how we consume, purchase and relate to content and we are now seeing more than just the 30” TVC. Brands are now in the ‘many opportunities era’ to tell one seamless story to many people.
This takes us into a space in which Piwe is all too familiar, and she helped me frame a thought. She sees sponsorships (broadcast) as a vehicle that shapes expectations and thus as a deliberate decision to associate a brand with a particular environment. This manifests itself in different ways – product integration or the traditional way of ‘proudly sponsoring’ a show or partnering with a particular piece of content manifested via ground activations or even placed in one of the digital platforms.
At the core of content creation and sponsorship, however, is integrating into the ‘story line’ in a real and comfortable way through a channel or platform.
The depth comes in the form of brilliant integration and she sees this as something that narrates key objectives for a sponsor with respect to what a brand is associated with and how linkages to consumers are created and crafted. She also sees this as a safe and comfortable environment for brands and people to meet, where brands can weave themselves into the environment in a tasteful, gentle and seamless way.
In order to gain even more impact, something else is required: allowing the brand the room to manoeuvre beyond the electronic platform and giving it the opportunity to be felt and touched on-the-ground. The new normal is finding the consumer, where the consumer is beyond the screens. Enter experiential marketing! An expensive but effective strategy, she contends.
Interacting with a brand
“There is something about the market actually smelling and tasting the brand. On-the-ground brand interactions have become critical. TV has to live beyond the TV screen, even beyond the second and the third screen. You’ve got to interact with the brand; feel it, touch it, smell it,” says Piwe. She believes that this can drive the rate and speed of quality consumer conversions that most brands strive for.
There is a downside. The tangibility of offering that content and broadcast sponsorships provide means that brands can align themselves to some big promises, which if unfulfilled have a dire result. Brands that delve into this form of connecting with customers must tick all the boxes and have all channels aligned to the promise, ready to deliver on that promise and extend the experience of the brand (from production quality, to quality checks on information, to updated web and social media pages, to credible associations, to alignment with the right social issues and even to spokesperson prep).
Content and broadcast sponsorships is about experience and one tends to have a better experience of something if it lives in an environment that is complimentary and additive. This is the work of content and broadcast sponsorships. It helps to emulate an existing experience and align the positive receptors to a brands core, which can be duplicated in other environments on screen or on-the-ground. Piwe’s role therefore has found extension from on-screen platform to ‘wherever-the-brand-goes’.
Kagiso Musi is the group managing director of Meta Media South Africa, a new data-led media player in the country. She leads the Johannesburg and Cape Town offices with a list of blue-chip clients. The agency focuses on analysing and uncovering insights from the most granular forms of data and utilising that data to help clients win.
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