You Get What You Pay For

I recently read a white paper entitled “How To Spend The Minimal Effective Amount on Media” from Networked Insights. The conclusions, that it’s now possible to replace Network TV in media buys with alternatives solutions, are based on mining social media data and other conversations.

One of the case studies referenced pertains to an advertiser who was locked out of a multi-million dollar TV sponsorship of a major sporting event. Using social media data analysis, Networked Insights built an alternative strategy consisting of digital ads and video to drive online conversations. The alternative plan delivered equal reach and brand awareness compared to the traditional TV sponsorship, at a significantly reduced price.

There is no arguing that the fragmentation of audiences and multitasking has impacted traditional TV’s dominance and the way TV and video is now consumed. A recent report by Business Insider Intelligence showed that the share of live TV viewing in primetime has declined from 83% in 2008 to 64% in 2012. There is also no disputing that social marketing/media is now a basic brand building requirement. However, I am skeptical that the alternative media strategy utilized could in reality provide the scale necessary to deliver equal reach and brand awareness.

Although TV ratings are on the decline, online display, video and social media cannot reach critical mass in the same way TV can. TV still has the ability to attract large audiences. In categories such as consumer packaged goods, beverages and big box retailers, marketers know that TV drives brand awareness and sales and have years of campaign data to prove it.

Instead of trying to determine the minimal effective amount to spend on media, I think a better approach is to find out how your customer engages with your brand and consumes media, then develop a media strategy that builds customer relationships across all appropriate channels.

Remember an effective media strategy requires clearly defined objectives, a keen understanding of the target, the buying process and the role of media at varying stages of the sales cycle. Without these, developing a coherent strategy simply isn’t possible.

Remember it’s easy to buy a cheaper solution for almost any media brief, it does not mean it’s as good.

Alan May
Just Media, Inc.

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