…Reese’s pieces in E.T….. Ray- Ban Aviators in Top Gun….. FedEx in Cast–Away
Yesterday’s product placement ads are today’s Content Marketing/Native Advertising. Content Marketing is a hot topic in the digital world. Like most new innovations or trends, many are tweaks, combinations or evolutions of an older concept. Given the proper exposure, our affinity to an advertised product usually causes us to think favorably on a brand and purchase it. However, there is a delicate balance between using a soft- handed advertising approach and over-exposing a product causing a negative reaction to that which was intended. We saw this happen with the over saturation of advertising messages in email marketing, banners and pop-up ads. Can the same experience be the destiny for advertising in the social media space with native advertising? Will more and more native advertising bring into question hidden agendas in content? Will consumers be turned off from sites with too many subliminal messages? Let’s hope advertisers have learned from past errors and use a balanced approach.
Finding new responsive ways to engage with consumers is a great thing. Now more than ever, it’s important for advertisers to not just follow the “new” new thing but look holistically at their marketing efforts. Advertiser’s need to spend time strategically planning, gathering historic insight and evaluating how, where, and to what message consumers are reacting to. Marketing should never be about one media channel carrying the burden of a successful campaign. A good ad campaign is like a symphony with all pieces coming together creating one seamless melody. While social media and content marketing have a key role in the new paradigm of advertising, we need to ensure we don’t overindulge. It is important that we understand how other media channels such as search, display, and emails as well as traditional channels like broadcast, and print all play a pivotal role in the consumer’s journey to take actions.
Establishing a holistic, well run marketing campaign starts with the advertiser. Advertisers need to spend time breaking down corporate silo’s of having separate marketing teams that are focused on one vertical media channel. While it is good to have people that specialize in media channels, it’s imperative to have one overall marketing team, a central strategic plan that evolves and most importantly, one database where key ad performance insights are stored. No matter what an advertiser is promoting, marketing insights should connect media response information straight through to back-end customer value metrics. Internally, we call the process Consumer Value Marketing (CVM). An agency and an advertiser’s marketing team need to meet regularly to review insights and create strategic decisions based on the information they are able to extract from these centralized databases.
So what is the best method to improve marketing results and follow likely consumer action using a consumer value marketing method? To start, it’s important not to just follow the shiny new object that is the flavor of the day in advertising. Take stock of your overall marketing plan and understand the parts that are driving performance and those that are more wasteful. Immediately work to implement a tool to centralize all marketing insights and be sure insights are available to you at will. Today there are a lot of new quantifying methods that help advertisers better target and follow the consumer journey such as: DSP’s, Cookie based ad serving platforms, addressable media, analytics systems like Google Analytics, and the myriad of companies offering attribution models ……but I like to refer to these new technology methods by their old name…… database marketing techniques.