The rapid pace of evolution is the challenge faced by every CMO, as it is now done in months, not years or decades. 2014 is an opportunity for you and your brand to truly connect with your audience, not just gain impressions.
Thinking strategically about your consumers’ media usage (by drilling down on exactly how they are consuming media) will lead you to valuable competitive insights. The insights you gain from “listening” to social conversations should be applied to your overall media strategy and creative approach.
Here are six key media tactics to embrace in 2014:
1. Length does matter…and shorter is better
The length, look, and feel of short time video is appealing to consumers due to the instantly engaging and snackable content. Short time is the perfect solution to the consumers’ increasingly shorter attention span, and can be integrated into your existing video ad units. This is especially important if you are using the tactic of digital pre-roll video, as thirty seconds are too long to hold your viewer’s attention.
2. How are you handling your weight loss?
How are you making up for audience erosion, which is occurring due to consumer reductions of time spent and turnover? Analyzing the changing consumer landscape is relevant across your entire spectrum of tactics from traditional media, through digital, mobile, and social; this is what makes the exciting world of media so challenging. You need to drill deeper into your consumer landscape, and look beyond impressions. Unique users, time spent, turnover, look alike modeling, and conversions are far more important aspects to analyze and draw insights from.
3. No-bile or mobile
The fact that every consumer touch point you have is mobile enabled should be nonnegotiable. Not just mobile enabled, but fully functional. Every single web page, e-commerce functionality, and social apps should not just render on mobile, but truly function for consumer navigation. This is why we are so obsessed with thinking through the click path, rather than just focusing on the click.
4. Don’t just check the box, think inside it
Billions of dollars in media are invested to make sure the “box is checked,” versus a real understanding of the box. Nowhere is this more prevalent than with mobile, the most critical consumer connection tool. Mobile smartphones are used entirely differently than tablets, with entirely different opportunities and ad units, yet how often are they grouped together as “mobile”?
This attitude towards mobile became quite apparent at a recent panel I spoke on at SFBig’s, “The BIG Session on Mobile.” Gene Keenan, the moderator of our panel and long time mobile pioneer, asked the audience, “How many of you are viewing mobile as a box to check?” An audience poll was displayed on the big screen, with well over 50% affirming that mobile was just a box to check in their plan.
There are a couple of reasons for this beyond lazy media teams. Mobile simply isn’t that exciting for many creatives who have grown up in the world of video and hero shots for glossy publications and outdoor. There needs to be a major morph in how media teams view mobile; we must all begin thinking in terms of using three words to five words, as well as considering the user’s click path.
5. Content is creative
Mashup the trend of integrating a six-second Vine video with banner ads, and you have an extremely immersive ad unit. Think through frequency caps, and you end up with opportunities to connect with sequential messaging and re-targeting. Add geo-fencing to the mix, and you have a point of purchase medium. Integrate customized messaging within a community of apps, and you can better connect because the content becomes creative.
6. Social Media should be media
If members of your media team are students of who you are targeting, social media should be a leading media tool in targeting many consumer groups. Social media and media should no longer be siloed departments. The ability to integrate apps, generate on-going communication, harness unique self identified targeting groups and API, generate look alike modeling, and re-targeting could (and should) be assets in your media plan.
I hope one (or all) of these points can be thought starters for you in the next year. All six points can be synthesized into one question for your marketing enterprise; are we, as marketers moving at the same speed and adoption of new technology as the consumers we are marketing to?