The definition of a media agency has changed dramatically over the last few decades, and no longer is media planning and buying the sole service offered. At Morgan & Co. our expertise (and the team’s training, skills and experience) falls within three core areas: Audience Segmentation, Media Strategy & Analytics. While media planning and buying is rooted in the Media Strategy area of what we do for our clients, it’s only a fraction of the bigger picture.
I’m calling this out primarily because of a pattern I’m seeing over the last few months while talking to both current and prospective clients. Naturally, the needs of the brands we work with have evolved over the years, due in part to the evolution of how consumers communicate, the arrival of the internet, and even the role of the CFO when it comes to accountability and cost per acquisition metrics. The more recent evolution has led to a greater emphasis on audience analysis and segmentation (how media impacts the lives and journeys of various segments) and analytics (e.g.: how creative and media tactics are driving sales and at what costs).
That evolution, which was alive and kicking as recent as the beginning of 2020, went into overdrive mid-March. That overdrive has mobilized current and prospective clients to bring a somewhat different conversation to the table, all because of how COVID-19 has disrupted their business, category and even their customer base.
The Hard Truth
The hard truth is business as we know it has changed. At least for the foreseeable future, revenue for hotels, restaurants, law firms, financial institutions and for almost any industry that comes to mind, will be down. With that being the case, the new normal will have a painfully obvious impact on the world of marketing, and on media. That could mean brands utilizing significantly less paid media in their marketing strategies for the remainder of 2020. At least until customer bases return to a level that justifies pre-COVID media spend levels.
The implications of a reduction in media spend has put Morgan & Co.’s two other core areas at the forefront of conversations. Here’s how:
The recent shift in how people communicate, share information and consume media has elevated the attention brands are giving audience segmentation. The persona of a person, or group of people, is less about demographics and more about lifestyles, needs, wants and desires. And this matters to brands more than ever as they look towards life after COVID-19 and wrestle with refining their marketing efforts going forward. This clarity in their audience provides confidence that precious budgets are allocated towards the most qualified and convertible audience segment(s) possible. All in the spirit of being efficient and lifting the marketing’s ROI.
At the same time, analytics has become an even more active conversation given the need to extract every ounce of performance from each part of a marketing effort, including creative, media, geography and audience segments. Specifically, brands want analytics to clearly reveal how ad dollars are driving conversion, e.g.: sales, bookings or client sign-ups. And it’s not just last touch attribution at play, but instead a clear analysis of how a breadth of media tactics, both paid and organic, are collectively attributing to that conversion. Because of this, Morgan & Co. is answering more questions about data, metrics, CRM integration, attribution, real-time reporting and optimization. The reality is a brand’s marketing is potentially due for a reset given global dynamics and human behavior. Analytics provides insight and directional guidance to sound strategies that leverage shifts to the benefit of the brand.
Often times, the challenges that arise in life are what help clear the path. In the new reality, those challenges are actually an opportunity to reset critical marketing components like audience segmentation and analytics. If your brand needs help resetting strategies for a post-COVID world, contact Morgan & Co. As numbers people, we love talking all things media strategy for the great good of brand marketing.