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Is mass media over-rated, over-used?

Is mass media over-rated, over-used?

Author | exchange4media News Service | Wednesday, Feb 04,2015 10:06 AM

Is mass media over-rated, over-used?

There seems to be a clear need to look beyond TV, Print & Outdoor and explore other more effective touchpoints.

The Single Source Shopper Journey Research by Pointlogic & Percept Media is one-of-its-kind study which has measured reach of all possible media touchpoints among shoppers in major cities of India. 

The research establishes that besides TV, Newspaper and Outdoor, there are many more media which have significantly higher reach within heavy shoppers.  The reach of Digital Media in the Shoppers is far higher. This is due to two reasons. First, this TG is more upscale in their purchasing power and lifestyle. Secondly they do see digital as an important part of their daily life. This medium’s biggest strength however lies in its ability to engage with core Shoppers through behavioural & contextual targeting, which is at the heart of the changes.

Youth is certainly more distracted as there are too many media vying for their attention.  A brand needs to be present on multiple platforms and leverage all the critical touchpoints in order to win over the youth.  Cinema, Mobile, Social Media and Events/Promotions have very high affinity among youth, specially male youth shoppers and therefore need to be an essential part of media mix for them. Magazines have the highest reach and affinity among young female shoppers.

While Cricket has high reach among Male Shoppers, both young and old, Sports other than Cricket are one of the strongest emerging media for younger male shoppers.

Older female shoppers have affinity for very few media beyond mass media.

Is your media-mix effective in the Active Shopping Stage of your category?

Brands often fall in the trap of a generic media planning which results in heavy budget allocations on expensive medium like TV which could have been avoided. Task and role of all media touchpoints have to be based on the shopper mind-set and activities at each stage of the shopper journey. A media plan which is sync with shopper journey will help use the same budget on a more suitable media that will deliver more than awareness

While there is an overall dominance of TV, other medium like In store experience and word of mouth gain more relevance at Active Shopping Stage for most categories.  Print media loses out to Word of Mouth, Digital and Point of Sale media in terms of importance at Active Shopping Stage, despite having a better reach otherwise.

In store experience is the most important touchpoint for women shoppers for categories like Branded Apparels and Toiletries. Free sampling is often relevant for toiletries. For high involvement categories like cars, WOM is important – both from friends and family as well as experts. WOM is as important as TV for Holiday packages. Digital has a high role in both cars and holiday package purchase journeys. While shoppers tend to visit brand websites for information on cars, information on holiday packages is mostly collected through internet search.

Active Shopping stage is often a small window of opportunity for various media.  Hence, the most appropriate media needs to be selected which will hold a shoppers interest and lead to brand conversion.

Are your messaging and touchpoint strategy in sync ?

Optimization of message and media needs to use insights about meta-drivers behind acceptability and suitability of a medium for a shopper. This helps in identifying the key message which needs to be delivered and the right media mix for each communication task and brand task.

TV and Outdoor works for almost all kinds of messaging but has no particular affinity for any of the messaging types. Our research indicates that price and promotion messages have high affinity with In-store advertising and Print ads.  However, internet ads are also relevant and to price/promotions and could be a threat to traditional media like print in near future.  This will be driven by emergence of ecommerce portals where price discounts and special offers are much more frequent than offline retail. Also, there has been a rapid emergence of price comparison websites for multiple categories (like, as well as for specific categories (,

Product features and advantages are gauged through various offline touchpoints like dealers and packaging as well as online touchpoints like websites and social. Emotional connect with a brand has high association with Events/shows/concerts and activations (like sampling, demonstrations etc.)

Optimizing non-mass media touchpoints to create a differentiation in communication planning

Setting communication task as per the shopping stage and thus mindset of a shopper is the differentiation a brand can build over its rivals. Most brands, especially challenger brands, cannot afford to lose out on critical touchpoints in Active stage where the prospect of communication leading to conversion into sale is highest. This approach facilitates optimizing all touchpoints in such a way that over-dependence on expensive medium like TV, Newspapers is reduced and other appropriate media is leveraged. However, implementing this approach requires understanding of 3 factors - reach of all media touchpoints, its effectiveness in Active shopping stage and synchronization between touchpoint strategy and messaging. Percept Media, in association with Pointogic Netherlands, has developed such a message and media optimization tool suite based on extensive all India single source research across multiple categories.


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