Communications in the new media age
Developing and evaluating communications effectively requires a common understanding of how advertising works, no matter the channel.
As marketing budgets have come under scrutiny, the need to justify advertising spending has grown. Marketers, advertising agencies, media and insights teams must agree on the model of effectiveness they will use and then work collaboratively to deliver ROI.
Our take on the current evidence is that advertising is most effective when it increases saliency. That requires consistency, emotional triggers and also recency—exposure to advertising as near as possible to a purchasing choice. And although there is no denying that tailored granular communications have a significant role to play with engaged customers, they too rely on previously established brand saliency to be effective.
1. Technology and channels have changed, but how we communicate follows the same rules it always has.
2. Marketers, planners and insights experts are now more willing to believe and act on some fundamental tenets about how people absorb and use media messages. Advertising absorbed at an unconscious level works. People may not be able to recall your ad, but it affects their future purchasing decisions even so.
3. Unconscious memory is not a bad space but rather an involuntary space, allowing the triggering of involuntary recall.
4. Recent studies confirm that emotion sells. Worrying about the detail of the differentiating brand proposition misses the point. People don’t think in terms of differentiation: they feel, not think. Accordingly, methodologies need to be able to detect and measure communications’ emotional effectiveness.
5. The new challenge for marketers is to understand how a combination of messages communicated using different channels contributes to the emotional memories we store and the associations they create. Analytical tools such as ZavyTM and converged media tracking allow us to link emotional responses to content.
6. Granular advertising offers clear benefits by allowing the sending of the right message to the right person. Even so, big brand messages have a significant role to play in building and maintaining salience.