In the new world we live in, many marketers and keepers of brands are hitting the reset button on their once beautiful marketing strategies. With customers stuck at home, upending their spending patterns, and cautiously wondering about the future, there are more questions than answers out there. So, it wasn’t a surprise when I found myself in a discussion with an association about how their members can care for their marketing and media position looking forward. In the spirit of sharing ideas, I’m using this blog as an opportunity to outline a few areas discussed and those items a brand or marketer should tackle now.
As a media guy, I’ll be the first to tell you creative matters. Every day, we study and optimize campaign performance, including the impact various creative themes have on an initiative. From what we see, we cannot stress enough the need to invest in creative and content strategies. The proof is overwhelming that great content is a game changer when it comes to results. The creative must resonate with the audience segments and concepts of customers. Does it strike a nerve, producing a meaningful engagement that provides a dialogue and delivers value, understanding and the solution they are seeking? This is only possible if you know what resonates with your audience.
Many brands we work with have multiple locations across one, or sometimes many, DMAs. In this regard, the media strategy must produce hyper-local engagement. Think about it – for example, your bank branches cater to a neighborhood or area of town. Shouldn’t your media strategy adapt to that bubble of life? Densely populated downtown areas, with a heavy concentration of young, mobile professionals on one side, live a very specific life. While middle income families in the suburbs can have a dramatically different lifestyle and interest base. Both audiences communicate and receive information through difference sources, so your strategy should align with their lives, but separately.
Getting back to the importance of creative, and media if we’re putting it all on the table, we’re recommending clients double down on data and insight. Do not think of this space as a tactical play. Information is strategy. Knowledge of who is visiting a bank branch, what services and products they are seeking, and where they originated from is paramount. Information should be in real-time, allowing marketing strategies, creative, outreach and even product development to evolve quickly, keeping you one step ahead of your competition.
In the discussion, I couldn’t stress enough the need for short-term versus long-term strategies. During COVID-19, with spikes, closures, and governmental reopening phases, a brand like a bank must be nimble. Tomorrow will look different than today, and nothing like yesterday. Build your strategy to accommodate changes on the fly, while keeping the long-term perspective, well, in perspective.
Lastly, my discussion with the association revolved around the mechanics of successful campaign management. Specifically, implementation and evolution. Two words: start slow. With many moving pieces, never think it’s an easy process to get an organization to embrace such a shift in priorities and how it can drive strategy. Time, learning, countless conversations, strategy and money are just a few of the resources required. At the same time, set realistic goals – not only with implementation, but also with the impact the findings will have on your business and marketing. Remember to crawl, walk, then run. When your marketing team has achieved the necessary systems and tools, your next quest is using the data and information to build for attribution. That is, using a system to track the paths consumers take to your front door, including creative, media, offers, and even which products they prefer or purchase.
No one knows for sure what the second half of 2020 will look like or beyond. But rest assured that simple changes in your media strategy and approach to things like implementation and tracking can make a significant impact. If you need help giving your marketing or media strategy a tune-up for whatever the future might hold, contact Morgan & Co., a media agency specializing in audience analysis, media strategy and analytics.