With advertising and marketing budgets under growing pressure, South African brands are looking for ways to optimise their spending and drive maximum value out of every rand. One way marketers are looking to improve return on investment, is by taking a more integrated approach to managing campaigns across multiple media and channels.
When two or more channels are blended in a campaign, the results are usually far more than the sum of the brand value achieved from each channel on its own. Instead, we see results that are better in multiples, thanks to the availability of different channels to maximise opportunities to speak to the consumer and to reinforce the brand message in his or her mind.
Multiple channels of information
One reason for this is that consumers don't consume content from only one medium during an average day, but often pick up snippets from a range of channels, from newspapers and TV, through to radio and the Internet.
Two channels we have found to work particularly well together are online and radio, because they are effective ways to speak to consumers at different times of the day. Radio, being a 'lean back medium' is usually consumed passively while online is a 'lean forward medium' that requires active engagement. These channels synergise well in terms of passive and active consumption and lends well to improving campaign performance and branding effects.
That means, of course, that media planners and advertisers should be booking their placements according to the time of the day and week that their audiences peak on each of the media they are using for their campaigns.
Consider, for example, an office worker called Jane, who commutes from Pretoria to Johannesburg during a working week. She may glance at the TV over breakfast to catch the morning news, then get in her car for a long drive in the traffic with her favourite radio breakfast show team as her primary companion during her commute. When she arrives at her office, she may glance at the newspaper headlines over her first cup of coffee, then have the radio playing in the background through the day. At around 11am, her thoughts may turn to lunch as she browses the Internet looking for some information she needs to complete a work project.
Against that backdrop, it makes less sense to target an online display ad for a lunchtime special at a restaurant chain at 7am when Jane is stuck in traffic. It makes more sense to place the online display ad alongside the content that a DJ is directing Jane to at that time of day. As a result of this, the lunchtime special campaign message is reinforced just before lunchtime when Jane is most likely to be influenced by the ad. Our experience bears out that marketers get different results from the different channels, depending on the time of day, and time of week they are using.
Webb traffic beginning to become more mobile
Web traffic in South Africa (and in some developed markets) tends to cluster around working hours and days, since most people access the Internet from work, although that is changing thanks to the mobile Web. We have found that SMS campaigns tend to get better results before people get to work, whilst online campaigns get better results after people get to work. These insights lend themselves to the notation that advertisers are better served by changing the messaging in their generic ads (or live reads) to take into account the time of day, and what device users are likely to have access to at that time of the day. One also obviously needs to take into account the objectives of the campaign. If the campaign is not intended to elicit a response, and is primarily intended to increase brand awareness, one can ignore time of day or access to the online medium. It sounds simple and obvious, but it is something that many brands overlook when they book their campaigns: booking the right audience, at the right time of day, on the right medium and with the right message leads to better branding effects and response to campaigns.
This translates into less wastage of limited marketing spend and is one of the quickest wins you can get in terms of improving return on investment from campaigns that straddle multiple media.
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