The customer has changed drastically. They respond less to ‘STATIC’ media and more to fluid live conversations across day parts. There is no PRIME TIME for them - a dated concept that exists only in media owner’s minds and in MEDIA memory based on past trends writes Vineet Singh Hukmani, MD & CEO, Next Radio Ltd ( 94.3 Radio One).
It is amazing how so many media choices that are made by brand leaders use ‘media memory’ of the organization with little or no room for media ‘vision’. Past spends on old media like Newspapers and Outdoor, all based largely on reach/recall parameters, offer no measurable delivery on 'live customer engagement’ and thus erroneously become the benchmarks for future media choices. When the topic of customer engagement does come up it is only mistaken for ‘on ground’ touch point programs that cater to a few hundred individuals at a time which are also very expensive and time consuming to execute.
The customer has changed drastically. They respond less to ‘STATIC’ media and more to fluid live conversations across day parts. There is no PRIME TIME for them - a dated concept that exists only in media owner’s minds and in MEDIA memory based on past trends!
Live mediums like radio and digital are at any time engaging live customers. The two way interaction and synergy offered by both these new age media is unparalleled. It is easy to link a live radio conversation of your brand on to a social media page and create quicker, larger, measurable and more economical live engagement. You can ‘show’ your product in the digital sphere and engage live conversations on radio creating the right media multiplier within an audience that is ‘live all day’ on their mobile phone. Brands, internationally, have started to create and execute ‘daily engagement programs’ for their brands versus ‘reach/recall’ based on LIVE media planning. The reward for excellent daily engagement is quicker brand favorability and conviction to buy within a defined audience set. In the case of old media like print and outdoor expensive reach and recall offers no guarantee for ‘purchase’. Such media memory choices need to be questioned as they were created largely in the late 80s when there was no alternative.
Newspapers are losing out with the new age customer!
The basic content of newspaper as the word suggests is NEWS. Today news is delivered earlier by online sources on any mobile, followed by breaking news on television so what you read in the morning paper is already ‘old stuff’. Customers seek news differently now and yet brand leaders use expensive newspaper ‘jackets’, full pages, in the hope of ‘reach/recall’ with little or no regard for the fact that consumer acceptance of NEWS media has changed drastically.
Many of your customers tear out the initial advertising jackets to access the front page only to reach the conclusion ‘oh I already read this online last night’. Imagine if you cut your newspaper budget by 25% how much new media like radio and digital you could use to engage your customer LIVE and all day long. A newspaper has your customer’s attention for 15 minutes. New media like radio and digital are engaging him/her all day long. Media memory tends to cause a ‘relief’ sensation in brand leaders ‘My brand has been launched by a newspaper so I am safe’. The truth is your brand is not safe because it just spent 3-5 month’s LIVE engagement monies on a single insertion that very few people had the time to read, forget get engaged with the messaging. Live conversations on radio and digital allow refreshing of content on a daily, hourly, basis while your advertising creative in print is ‘old’ after the first expensive insertion itself.
Have you noticed how there is only ‘bad news’ on the front and initial pages of newspapers. This causes definite anxiety in readers and you have to wonder as a brand leader, Is that the mood you need your customer in to make a purchase decision? Brand values that your brand stands for are positive, inspiring and engaging and here is a medium that chooses to dish out bad, negative messaging day after day and your media memory still makes you believe it is the right medium? Someone said ‘the medium is the message!’ And add to that, every time you want to buy a particular position in the paper they tell you the price is up because your competition has out bid you and you go an up it all because your media memory tells you ‘This paper will save me!’
And if your brand has a conscience, then remember newspapers are adding to rapid deforestation as paper comes from trees! The process of printing all your ‘jacket ads’ as part of the newspaper uses up water, electricity and releases toxins in the environment. The new age customer is getting very environment conscious and your media memory perhaps does not allow you see this transformational change in people!
Outdoor the worst medium to engage
You are in your car, the radio is on, you are reading things on your phone or you are driving. How many people even notice an outdoor ad, let alone be engaged by it! Again the relief sensation based on media memory, “My brand has 100 hoardings in Mumbai and Delhi”. How many people saw it? How many liked it or more difficult to answer how many people did it get talking about my brand? Outdoor creative by nature is ‘uni-dimensional’ because the medium is ‘static and boring’. People carry an audio visual device, their phone, in their hands wherever they go and no hoarding can compete with that. The outdoor medium is a victim of expensive production, cumbersome execution and no measurability of messaging with little or no guarantee of engagement and therefore conviction to buy!
And the worst element of media memory is… ‘my brand needs to have a 360 degree media solution’. Media vision has to be a 360 degree current solution that measures all around customer LIVE engagement not past decisions repeated by memory or perhaps the lack of will to innovate? Is it not also easier, as a media agent, to ‘sell’ the newspaper option to a brand leader as it ensures you meet your targets as a seller?
What are the questions you need to ask to ensure you are not a victim of MEDIA MEMORY but are working hard to create A NEW MEDIA VISION for your brand…
1) Do I have a ‘measurable daily engagement program’ for my brand which allows my brand to participate in LIVE BRAND CONVERSATIONS?
2) How has my customer changed as regards his media expectations/acceptance/experiences and am I still working on 10 year old insights and calling them ‘media behavior’
3) Am I exploring enough with LIVE Media like radio and digital by dominating those with a fraction of current newspaper and outdoor spends.
4) Can I hear and see my customers reactions to my ‘campaigns’ almost instantly or do I rely on ‘historic recall/reach’ data that is so averaged out that it loses meaning?
5) Is my use of creativity and multiple messaging allowing me to ‘nag’ my customer pleasantly all day long pushing him to purchase?
6) Am I blindly following what others are doing in my category?
7) What is IN my product/brand that allows for ‘engaging live on going conversations’ versus that static message that I am putting out?
8) Am I afraid to tell people in my team or my bosses that we can ‘cut’ our spends but still create a powerful engaging brand?
9) Am I a victim of media memory and therefore ignoring media vision?
The world has changed! It is always better to question yourself before the questions become difficult to answer. It is time memory gave way to vision!
(Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of the publisher.)