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#Roots2019: Local is lekker

An effective media plan targets the mental availability of the consumer to get their attention and nudge them into action, otherwise, it is just a wasted pair of eyeballs.
Spark Media, CEO, Gill Randall. Image supplied.

“We need to think how we can influence the buyer’s next purchase by creating mental availability in their mind to think about your brand and do this for as many people on as many occasions as possible,” says Spark Media, CEO, Gill Randall.

Randall was presenting at the 2019 Roots Survey released to the industry last week and this week in Durban, Johannesburg and Cape Town.

Smarter media decisions

“In most cases media spend is the most expensive but the most crucial of the marketing spend. While individual behaviour cannot be predicted, certain insights can provide us with a framework to make media smarter decisions,” she says.

The road to growth in your category is to reach light and non-users. “Regular or heavy users of your brand will engage easier than non-users of your brand, but light and non-users can be hard (and expensive) to reach and it’s even harder to get their attention. Mass effective quality reach an bring in the light and non-users of your brand,” says Randall.

She explains that media needs to reach all users of the category (i.e. all coffee drinkers, not an idealised profile of someone who drinks Nescafe). “This is because brand growth comes from getting more people in the category to buy your brand (acquisition strategy), most of whom hardly ever/never buy your brand (because there are so many of them) rather than trying to get your regular buyers to buy more often (retention strategy).”

One-on-one is should be seen as an add on and not a replacement for how we currently sell media. “A lack of reach leads to the demise of a brand and in South Africa, in hindsight, we have witnessed this. Just think of Stuttafords the department store. It did not remind people that they were there and so people forgot about them,” she explains.

Encourage people to pay more attention

As consumers’ attention span becomes shorter, this will become an increasingly bigger problem for brands. “Aim for media that delivers large audiences, that is reach first then smaller niche media,” she encourages.

“Brand segmentation was created by marketers and it is a myth - we all compete for the same customers whether a TV or microwave. The same person chooses us because of a nudge or reason moment,” she adds.

Brands can encourage people to pay more attention by matching the media environment with the need of a consumer. “It is when consumers pay attention that we need to intercept them,” she says.

She adds that intercepting consumers as close to the purchase occasion as possible is vital, but the problem is we do not know when that moment will occur.

Localisation is powerful

“Fish where the fish are by ensuring the areas you target have a higher propensity for your product. Then have the physical availability to deliver, ie product in store in that area. Localisation is a powerful and more relevant method to reach your audience,” she adds.

This is, she says, where local newspapers, play a role. “Local newspapers intercept consumers every week in the area they live. For example, the Fourways area has 100% internet penetration, but 80% of the market still use their local newspaper inserts to plan their local shopping.”

Randall says she is not surprised that local newspapers continue to thrive. “They reach large audiences where people are primed for shopping. We are positive about the future in contrast to the negative sentiment out there. We don’t feel very nervous at all.”

Started in 2001, the Roots Survey is conducted every three years. Roots’ quantitative research explores shopping behaviours and decisions and underpins an architecture that provides the industry with a roadmap to create an in-depth analysis on areas where the economically active population lives.

Roots 2019 interviewed 27,000 shoppers over 10 months and was conducted in partnership with Ads24 which allowed for the inclusion of 16 new areas enabling the building bricks of the survey to be a total of 112 surveyed areas.
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About Danette Breitenbach

Danette Breitenbach was the editor and publisher of Advantage, the publication that served the marketing, media and advertising industry in southern Africa. Before her editorship, she was deputy-editor as well as freelancing for over a year on the publication before that. She has worked extensively in print media, mainly B2B, in the fields of marketing, mining, disability marketing, advertising and media.