Connecting emotionally with a desired audience is the ultimate goal for any marketer. Unfortunately, all too often, the media supply chain is effectively broken, with ad experiences rarely matching true consumer needs. Why in this era of data and personalization tech tools is it so hard to connect in a meaningful way?
Perhaps it's the tens of thousands of ads the average consumer sees almost every single day. Or maybe it's the plethora of retail choices, from endless online aisles to hard discounters. Then there is the allure of big data offering more demos, context, attitudes and purchase behavior. Even more perplexing is that while marketers possess the data to personalize at scale, far too many brands continue to cast a broad net into a fragmented marketplace, hoping their audience bumps into their message. With so much focus on short-term, quarter-to-quarter results, the bigger picture is missing.
But what if marketers and media partners could work together to identify the places where the balance of mass reach with personalization is not only doable, but turns out to be the right tactic to get your brand in front of engaged consumers?
The right place to start is for a media partner to understand what challenges a brand is facing, and what a campaign's objectives are. Whether it is acquiring new customers, driving trial or growing share and loyalty, successful campaigns start by proactively understanding your consumers first. More importantly, it's understanding which consumers are already open to hearing your message and are already invested in your brand. Answering these two questions can lead you to a smarter approach:
- Who are those engaged consumers (i.e. brand fans) that are emotionally attached and unwilling to give up the brand?
- How does your brand compare to competitors? And why?
Brand fans are the lifeblood of any business and drive a disproportionate amount of sales and profitability. Typically, only about 15% of customers are true fans, emotionally connected or unwilling to give up a brand. More important, in today's always-on, digital environment, brand fans are 50% more attentive to brand ads and 40% more likely to share their experiences and influence others. In effect, focusing on these brand fans increases penetration through advocacy at the same time they are driving brand volume. A brand can use this link to drive growth in a declining category, convert brand moderates to fans or activate brand fans to reinforce a brand's message and value.
By evaluating the link between brand fans and the media they are also emotionally attached to and unwilling to give up, a marketer can identify channels and content where its campaign will resonate. Traditionally, "emotion" is not something easily measured and scaled. But, in today's data-driven environment, if you can't measure what you are doing, then why bother?
To address this issue, Turner has partnered with LEAP Media Investments. LEAP's patented approach taps into right-brain brand-bonding behaviors, and captures buying behavior, lifetime value and segment profitability potential. This allows us to optimize the audience at the start of the process. By immediately linking brand fans to Turner fans, we can understand our audience well beyond basic demographics to include attitudes, beliefs, cultural attributes and lifestyles. These essential brand insights integrate and scale in real time and enable a more compelling ad experience in context.
It's not just the size of the audience, but the quality that matters. Marketers should assess the quality of a program's audience to align brand objectives to a media plan. Some programs are simply more suited to building awareness versus reaching brand fans. It's critical to know the difference. For example, a marketer with multiple products in one portfolio can reach a higher percentage of existing brand fans for one of those products if it places ads in programming in which those brand fans are already engaged.
With the growth of social and mobile platforms, another underleveraged opportunity is capitalizing on brand fans' propensity to share experiences by linking linear campaigns to digital engagement. Turner's social optimization capability Launchpad mines brand fan social media behavior to understand their most common interests and even affinity to TV. For instance, a brand may find that through its social audiences that its brand fans have an affinity for Comic-Con, basketball and video games. These are three additional touchpoints to keep your brand top-of-mind. At Turner, we know that fans of Comic-Con also have an affinity for TBS, truTV and Adult Swim; and while it's not surprising that basketball fans gravitate towards the NBA on TNT and Bleacher Report, video gamers have an affinity for
Take a Longer-Term Approach to Ad Planning and Execution
Understanding brand fans and exploring their affinities leads to delivering a more relevant and personalized ad experience on an emotional level. Leverage insights and share them with your media partners, so they can understand the bigger picture, and then align on mutual objectives. More important, this provides the means to build and execute a longer-term ad strategy that ties back to brand objectives.
With the explosion of data and tools to understand consumers anytime and anywhere, there is a greater need for organizations to collaborate with a transparent mindset. Understanding there will always be different metrics across the media supply chain, optimizing for the forest as opposed to the trees is the key to success.
About the Authors
In this newly-developed role, James Russo oversees account planning, thought leadership and client strategy, while closely aligning with Turner's Client Insights group, a division within Turner Research, to make recommendations to clients based on an insight-driven selling approach. His rich experience across marketing, sales, client development and thought leadership, as well as robust client-facing background, play a vital role in enabling agencies and marketers to develop smarter and more efficient decisions fueled by the company's next-generation portfolio capabilities.
Within Turner Ignite's client strategy team, Jeff works with brand partners in the retail and technology sectors to identify opportunities to drive growth and reach target audiences portfolio-wide. Jeff comes to Turner with extensive expertise across key industry verticals and a proven track record helping clients understand their consumers and connect with them at a deeper, more engaged level. His professional experience spans numerous data-driven disciplines including new product launches, loyalty analytics and customer segmentation.