It used to be that people only had a few TV channels to watch and radio stations to listen to. Routines were planned around what time their favourite programmes were aired.
Maximising customer conversations across todays complex media landscape
Since their customers today live in a multichannel world, brands need to think carefully about how they will use different touchpoints in combination with each other to maximise opportunities to engage with their audiences.
That's according to Ian Drummond, Mediamark's Digital Sales Manager. He says that brands should no longer treat offline and digital channels as discrete offerings, but think about how these channels will intersect in the customer journey.
New conversation opportunities
Says Drummond: Over the past decade, the rise of digital channels such as mobile and the Web have created new opportunities for marketers to gather information about consumers and have conversations with them.
The question which every marketer should be thinking about is how he or she can entice customers into the circle of digital engagement through offline advertising. There is an excellent opportunity to spark conversation and get to know customers for those brands that get this right.
Drummond says that broadcast media especially radio has long tapped into the audiences desire to participate by running competitions and allowing listeners or viewers to call in. But in the past, users needed to be both at a radio and a landline to take part.
Now, its a simple matter of sending an SMS or browsing a URL to interact with a radio competition or leave a comment for a radio presenter. Digital technologies are changing the audiences expectations, says Drummond. People expect convenience, instant gratification and choice in how they interact with brands.
What this means for marketers is that they need to understand how and why audiences use the many channels they have access to today print, radio, TV, the Web, mobile Web, SMS, and more. We need to follow where the journey takes our users and support them with the means to interact with us, says Drummond. Perhaps that will be by phone or SMS when the user is listening to an ad on the radio on the way to work, or nearby a browser when he or she spots a billboard on the commute.
Drummond says that offline advertising should offer users memorable information about how they can interact with the brand. This could be as simple as including the URL for the company website or a Twitter handle in every print and broadcast advert. Its also important to try and anticipate how the audience will respond to an ad if it captures their interest.
Will the potential customer do a search for the brand or product? If so, what will the keywords be that he or she will use? Will this search be done on a smartphone or on a PC? If youve supplied Facebook or Twitter details in your ad, is your social media team ready for the queries that might come in?
Brands should think about the answers to those questions, and think about tactics to get the best results. Which paid search keywords should you buy?
What message should people see when they land on your website? For example, it might be a good idea to have a paid search ad that links to a landing page for your product if your radio campaign is pushing a new car. And if youre expecting a lot of traffic to come from smartphones, make sure your website is mobile-friendly.
A final corollary: online channels can also be used to drive traffic to offline channels. By using the mass reach and visual impact of rich media ads, you can generate awareness and interest in your product which can then be converted by either a call to action radio ads, digital ads, prints ads or even in-store activations.
Mediamark is a leading media sales house in South Africa ensuring brands derive maximum value from their advertising spend through tailored multi-channelled solutions. Mediamark has developed into an integrated, multichannel organisation in order to cater for the increasing demand for converged media buys. In conjunction with its creative division (Lab 42), Mediamark works closely with advertisers to conceptualise and execute innovative campaigns that help them meet their business objectives.
Mediamark Radio represents brands such as Jacaranda FM in greater Gauteng, East Coast Radio in KZN and Smile 90.4FM in the Cape Town and Fringe area.
Mediamark Digital represents Microsoft's South African online and mobile advertising offerings, Howzit MSN, Outlook.com, Sky, TEAMtalk, DailyMotion and Skype, as well as the official websites for Jacaranda FM and East Coast Radio.
Mediamark Events, works with the radio stations within its portfolio in order to give advertisers greater exposure through on-air, online and on-the-ground activations.
Mediamark TV represents Glow TV on OpenView HD and Dstv, Dumisa TV, 1Gospel, Channel ED, Lekker TV, 1KZN and CapeTown TV.
Renee Conradie | PR Account Director
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