Day three at GoaFest 2008 saw some more international advertising experts share their gyan and gumption. And amid all the fun and frolic, they managed to capture the audience’s attention. On such expert was Shiela Byfield, Global Director-Insights, Mindshare Worldwide, who talked about the ‘Bluring Effect’ of the media landscape as a trend happening across the world. “Today, there is more and more time to spend and save time, and with the kind of clutter we have in media, competition for attention is fierce,” she said.
But with the changing dynamics of media consumption, Byfield said that the traditional media was dead, and that it would continue to survive. However, she agreed that with pressure from new media, things were fast changing in traditional media. “We need to think more about engagement than interruption,” she advised. Byfield further explained that with growing media complexities, powers of the consumers were growing too as they now had various means to even turn off or avoid advertisement completely. Advising on this front, she said that it was important to adapt ‘subtle advertising’ as a means to retain consumers’ attention.
Talking about maintaining brand image in the long run, Byfield was of the opinion that consistency in branding message helped strengthen the brand recall among consumers.
She also spoke about retail, and how retail dynamics in marketing changed with the influx of digitalisation. “Technology has enabled the two-way communication pattern in retail, and today you see a lot many shoppers team up for better sales,” she said.
Byfield took the audience through various research studies on global trends in consumerism. Concluding her presentation, Byfield re-affirmed that the media landsacpe was getting blurred with fragmenting media and content, and with consumers becoming less receptive to traditional media. “Consumer trends will keep on changing, and thus, it is vital for marketers to be careful in their research and be wary of the data they procure in understanding consumer behaviour,” she cautioned.
Byfield has worked with WPP in London for more than 16 years. Today she sits on several international committees as an advisor.