It feels like every day / week / month (delete as applicable) the marketing industry gravitates in moth-like fashion towards the latest shiny toy – The metaverse, personalised avatars, and active attention to name some of the latest ‘new things’ that have forced their way onto our radars.
Yes, we should learn and explore the boundaries of the next big thing in media, but we also shouldn’t let the hype distract us from the fundamentals of what works right now to build brands and drive sales.
The work done by the likes of the IPA, Binet & Field and EBI has democratised marketing in a way like never seen before. To be blunt, there’s a lot of BS talked, and at the risk of putting myself out of a job I think it’s important for agencies and marketers to address the elephant in the room. Media or more aptly put “Tactics” really only accounts for around 8% of the total marketing process.
Let’s break that down, the marketing process starts way before you decide what channel you want to advertise on. You can break the process down into three phases: Diagnosis, Strategy and Tactics and roughly apply an even split of 33% of time to each. Promotion is only 25% of the tactical phase so when viewed in the entire process it should only consume around 8% of your time.
The marketing process starts with a company being “market oriented” (often referred to as consumer centric, customer first or some other fancy way of saying the same thing). Peter Drucker first defined market orientation as “Marketing is not only much broader than selling, it is not a specialised activity at all. It is the whole business seen from the point of view of its final result, that is, from the customer’s point of view”. This first step in the marketing process is crucial as everything changes when a company is market orientated. The focus shifts from an inward point of view to the markets point of view.
Once a company becomes market oriented everything changes.
Tactics (Media) are a means to an end yet marketers, brand managers, agencies alike are obsessed with measuring them as the sole reason for success and failure, but the truth of it is if you haven’t done the requisite work beforehand you are likely to be wasting your time and money.
Segmentation Targeting Positioning is still the holy trinity of marketing. A brand must do their market research as part of their diagnosis then segment the market to identify where the highest growth volume exists and then decide which segments to target and how to position themselves to those segments to ensure their brand wins. Once that is done write some old school SMART (specific, measurable, actionable, realistic and timebound) objectives. Once all this is done then do your tactics, and yes look at the latest shiny toy available to you but don’t forget the fundamentals of how brands grow and try to follow the five principles of media effectiveness (it’s not often they will steer you wrong).
1. Share of voice > Share of market – You have to shout louder than you are big.
2. Reach above all else – Reach is king, in almost no scenario should you sacrifice reach for recency or frequency.
3. Not all reach is equal – Attention is a critical factor in channel choice.
4. Once is enough – frequency is not necessary
5. Recency drive sales – for the 40% of your spend that should be about sales activation, recency is a drive of effectiveness. Place advertising as close to the moment of choice as possible.
So remember, follow the process, look at the bigger picture and don’t get distracted by the bright new lights. Be less moth and more sloth.
Eoin Corrigan is Head of Strategy at MediaCom Ireland