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Before you adopt that consumer engagement strategy, think about optimizing for media impact and efficiency

By Uwem Afanide
11 November 2021   |   2:01 pm
Like almost everyone these days, companies too feel the heat of the economic effects of the current pandemic. The cost of doing business is up and companies have to optimise for the new-normal environment, despite shrinking revenues.

PHOTO: cogneesol.com

Like almost everyone these days, companies too feel the heat of the economic effects of the current pandemic. The cost of doing business is up and companies have to optimise for the new-normal environment, despite shrinking revenues. This has created a need to achieve more with considerably less. Marketing is the most hit as shrinking revenues have meant lesser allocation to marketing initiatives and this has forced executives to rethink spend effectiveness & efficiency.

While virtually all companies repositioned their marketing strategies to accommodate the shift in focus to digital channels, they have quickly come to realise that in the digital content explosion age, users are spoilt for choice, and competition for digital advertising real estate is fierce. As someone once said, “the most scarce good today is not capital or technology, but the attention of consumers.” As such, achieving the highest levels of efficiency is critical. This leaves brands with the uphill task of finding the right balance between content and context to capture the attention of the right audience, at the most impactful & cost-efficient price. Taking a step back to assess data, identify new patterns and trends in consumer habits, and leverage the insights to design unique solutions that deliver efficiently is the only way to achieve this task. It is therefore critical for consumer insights to determine engagement strategies, just as much as the creativity of content and experience map. For these, companies depend on media planning & buying specialists.

The role of the media specialist, as part of the communications strategy design phase, cannot be understated. Integrating well thought-out media planning to optimize customer engagement strategies can have a massive effect on your business outcomes. Top Media specialists choose the optimal channels for their clients, whether digital or otherwise, with key considerations – the brand’s category dynamics, consumer insights/data and the ROI offered by the different publishers. These, and some other factors guide the media specialist towards the optimal channels that would offer the most ROI to advertisers..

Efficient media buying ensures the message is delivered to the targeted audience at the right time, within the right contextual environment.. Therefore, it is critical to align the characteristics of a brand’s target consumers (noting their behavioral, demographic and attitudinal nuances) and media habits, with the best suited channel and the content expectations for that channel. Once perfect harmony is achieved amongst these, brands will get better customer experience, higher retention, longer lasting brand loyalty/equity and consistent growth.

At All Seasons Zenith (ASZ), we acknowledge that the global trend in media engagement continues to push more companies to invest in digital platforms and the need to acquire content creating or storytelling skills is becoming critical on a daily basis.. While this is all fair and good, considering the rise of the middle class and the appeal of social media, the Nigerian environment requires a much more intentional approach. As much as mobile technology might be changing the world, traditional media still remain vital locally. A fine and effective blend of both is required to drive brand’s growth.

Although Nigeria is full of opportunities, and has a large mass market, the rate of technological advancement is not as progreesive as other African countries, like South Africa, and western countries. Digitisation is not as rapid and many sub markets remain excluded. The Nigerian market still requires a hybrid mix – digital for the lower-income groups to the middle and higher-income earners, and effective & efficient conventional media for the mass market. This means that most businesses, especially those that play within the FMCGS cannot fully discount the importance of conventional media for consumer engagement. Communications to last-mile regions, broader groups and hard-to-reach markets can only be delivered through effective conventional channels. Thus, efficiency for the Nigerian context, is not necessarily more social content or digital amplification, but rather more hybrid strategies, with measurable KPIs.

However, to make the most of all engagements and respond proactively to trends, brands must still build capacity on the digital frontier, invest in digital tools and merge approaches for efficiency. More importantly, in addition to these, while adopting global trends and insights on consumer data, there must be more critical investment in internal engagement audits, which allow for constant and efficient optimisation.

Our approach at ASZ has been designed to deliver efficiency at all levels, working to ensure allocated budgets are optimised with the best-aligned strategies. Our expertise in communications planning, media planning, value optimisation, technology and data analytics, delivers valuable returns on our partners’ investments. We believe we can achieve engagement objectives when there is accurate data, critical thinking and collaboration.