If you understand what the consumer’s motivations are and the potential for growth, that data is allowing us to build products and solutions that can reach those growth audiences.
Liam Brennan is the Global Director of Innovation at MediaCom, an award-winning agency helping clients reach beyond the boundaries of traditional media to uncover new ideas and innovative solutions.
Brennan developed and led the global growth of MediaCom BLINK, an in-house digital consultancy team accelerating marketing for a post-digital world.
In this episode of Velocitize Talks, Liam Brennan shares his insights on understanding clients, consumer behavior, and e-commerce.
Data on Target [1:07]
Data has been at the heart of a lot of the different pictures we’ve been running. The conversation seems to shift from being all about targeted impressions to targeted identities. The variety of data out there allows you to understand a little bit more about consumers.
Considering the sheer amount of data today, a comprehensive and customer-focused digital marketing campaign, created through consumer profiles and personas, can help build a community of active users and generate a significant amount of brand loyalty. Liam Brennan notes that the conversation concerning consumers has shifted from targeted impressions to targeted identities.
The variety of customer data has provided more insight into the consumers you’re trying to define and target. The key is to make your brand relatable. According to a Forbes Insights survey, 74% of consumers are likely to purchase products based on the experience alone.
Get Smart [1:58]
It’s about identifying the moment, the opportunity, to reach them with the right message.
The right message needs to be delivered through the right channels. One of the most ubiquitous tools of communication is, not surprisingly, text. People in the U.S. receive an average of 94 text messages on a daily basis. Over half of consumers (54%) say they prefer to receive business promotions through text.
That said, SMS marketing may not be the most innovative communications channel going forward. Enter smart devices. More than one in four adults in the U.S. own a smart speaker; 40% have two devices in their home. In 2013, 66% of Google searches were conducted on desktop computers or laptops; 34% were conducted on mobile devices. By the end of 2019, the numbers had basically flipped. Sixty-one percent of searches were conducted on mobile and 39% on desktop or laptops.
Chatbots are another vehicle for brands to communicate with consumers that fall under the big tent of Artificial Intelligence, along with machine learning, data analysis, and language processing. Indeed Amazon has credited AI for making it a trillion-dollar company.
Just Add Skittles [2:38]
There are new technologies that are emerging that allow us to either reach these consumers in those right moments to drive to purchase or help them navigate the change when it comes to the actual purchase itself.
In MediaCom’s initial campaign with food giant Mars, they found that there are challenger brands that can “move a little bit faster and be a little bit more nimble.” However, Brennan says that he sees an opportunity to reach new consumers or find new ways to improve the all-important customer experience.
They created the Launchpad platform as a way to enable Mars to be more experimental in how they operate drive to purchase, including through their classic platforms of TV and print, as well as newer emerging technologies. More recently, this included ‘micro-gifting’ campaigns for Mars brands including Skittles.
Make Your Voice Heard [4:34]
Take a step back and think of all the avenues that make a difference in that voice space. This is what will make the biggest impact now; that’s part of the road map we build around voice.
The way people engage with search engines is quickly changing, as is the language they use. Just think of how you speak out loud to a voice-activated device versus tapping out a search on a keyboard. (And the average voice search result is 29 words long.) As a result, consumers report feeling like they’re talking to a friend when they’re communicating with their smart speaker.
Consider that between 2015 and 2017, the number of searches containing the words “open” and “now” and “near me” grew by 200%. Obviously this has ramifications for local businesses and sales as well.
Stand Out [7:01]
Just make sure that your brands are present in people’s minds first and your brands are present in the right spaces in the e-commerce shelf.
Although e-commerce has become more app-based, an estimated 70% of Americans still prefer doing e-commerce over a website. However as the user experience continues to evolve beyond the traditional website, marketing for mobile and smart devices have become that much more important.
No matter how (and where) you’re shopping, similar guidelines apply:
- Website performance
- Easy-to-find pricing & shipping information
- Product descriptions
- Customer reviews
While smaller brands are at an inherent disadvantage when it comes to e-commerce (Amazon was responsible for one-third of all online sales in the U.S. in 2020), Brennan’s advice is to “look where they’re failing and attack them in those places.”
Messaging in a Bottle [11:07]
At the moment the problems with digital marketing stem from that focus on the immediate result that comes from click-through rates and cost-per-action that emerged in the last 10 years. It’s really ruining some of the strong branding work that’s been done upstream.
In 2016 MediaCom created a “Share a Coke” personalized digital campaign for Coca-Cola in partnership with Channel 4 in the UK. The campaign targeted the 16-34 age group featuring their names on the bottle’s label, creating buzz and ushering in a new kind of brand loyalty.
Once you have a fundamental understanding of your audience—in this case, younger and digitally savvy—you can develop personalized user experiences to keep your loyal customers while making new connections with potential customers.
“Share a Coke” and 40D went on to win The Thinkbox TV Planning Awards 2015 Best Use of Data Award.
This episode of Velocitize Talks was originally recorded in London in 2018. It has been updated accordingly.