A recent white paper by Millward Brown on Brand Loyalty, among other things, triggers a reconsideration of our line of thought in media planning, which for sure cannot be the same as before the crisis.
- The Millward Brown paper is titled “Demystifying the Consumer Journey”. It states that Marketers identified “planning across consumer touchpoints” as their #1 pain point in 2015
The study suggests that we need to grasp the dynamics of consumers’ relationship with:
1) The product category
2) Brands within the product category
3) Communication touchpoints (e.g. search, brand sites, retail channels, advertising, content marketing, etc.)
The first two points will set the framework and are the scope of this post. The third is individualized for every advertiser and actually is the hottest issue we work with our clients right now.
All above have to be seen under the umbrella of the overall diminishing Loyalty levels during the Financial Crisis years as seen on the following table.
The second “step-stone” here will be TGI:
TGI, the survey that just celebrated its 20th anniversary in the Greek market and offers insights on consumers and consumer behavior on all product categories, PLUS on the usage of media, just published the evolution of answers for one special question that was included in every run, since its start: “When I find a good brand, I do not change”.
So practically, consumers in Greece DO CHANGE their brand preference much easier than before.
The two findings, lead to a single conclusion: For sure loyalty went down in Greece and thus consumers need more time to make-up their mind on which brand to select.
Thus marketers must revisit their practices, considering that
- As the “contemplating period” is prolonged, the number of competitive messages reaching the consumer increases, placing the selection of “our” brand more at risk. So brands need a second level of support and this level is wonderfully described on the Google white paper FROM PROMOTION TO EMOTION. In difficult times, in times of financial and social crisis, people become more emotional and businesses must learn to serve real and deeper human needs. But then also, don’t you agree that all the sharable ads and content we see on social media makes us feel something?
- Returning to the more trivial, to media planning, between Continuity and “A strong punch”, the former gets a significant uplift. Both in the number of weeks and in the number of bursts, while pressure of course must exceed a minimum visibility threshold. Nevertheless, when the message is uniquely bonding the brand with the consumer, pressure can be substantially lower than the category employs. Then, also the tone cannot be a big shout. It will not feel right.
- Concluding, advertisers must put more effort in offering back to society, even by simply producing a narrower footprint, if not supporting good causes relevant to their business sector and answering real human needs. And they need to communicate these issues in a more human way, which demands a certain tone and consistency over time. Thus the advertising game shifts towards longer periods to be effective, gearing more around human values. Campaigns feathering exclusively product characteristics and “values” will continue being with us for yet long times ahead. But also these will progressively need to be present consistently for long periods in order to build effectiveness.
An explicit paradigm on the need for continuity for car advertising can be found at http://www.mediarisk.gr/cars-advertising-on-greek-tv-strong-push-or-continuity/
Some more insights from the “Promotion to Emotion” writers:
To find out, Google and CEB’s Marketing Leadership Council worked with marketing research firm Motista to survey 3,000 purchasers of 36 B2B brands across multiple industries. We wanted to uncover the reality beyond the basic assumptions that drive B2B marketing and communications. Using the same methodology as their B2C research, we were able to directly compare B2B results to Motista’s baseline consumer data.
Not only did the B2B brands drive more emotional connections than B2C brands, but they weren’t even close. Of the hundreds of B2C brands that Motista has studied, most have emotional connections with between 10% and 40% of consumers. Meanwhile, of the nine B2B brands we studied, seven surpassed the 50% mark. On average, B2B customers are significantly more emotionally connected to their vendors and service providers than consumers.
While it may seem surprising at first, this high level of connection with B2B customers makes a lot of sense. When a personal consumer makes a bad purchase, the stakes are relatively low. Best case, it’s returnable. If not, it might require an explanation to a spouse. Business purchases, on the other hand, can involve huge amounts of risk: Responsibility for a multi-million dollar software acquisition that goes bad can lead to poor business performance and even the loss of a job. The business customer won’t buy unless there is a substantial emotional connection to help overcome this risk.
From Promotion to Emotion