Guest Opinion — 5 Things to Look Out for in 20151 Jan, 2015 By: Andrew McLean Response
As we race into 2015, we’ve taken a look at some of the things that will shape our business and drive performance as marketers, brand managers and media companies. Our business is challenged like never before, and reaching consumers — and getting them to take action — gets more complex and potentially more costly. But there are areas of new opportunity for many to exploit for business success, as well as challenging areas that may cause problems for others.
- Native Advertising: Audience fragmentation is increasing, and dilution of media makes it harder than ever to get people’s attention. Integrated creative and content development that reaches the right audiences at the right time — and at optimal frequency — is the goal. To achieve this, marketers need to develop compelling messages that can be repurposed and cross-marketed to build product and brand awareness. When it comes to getting on consumers’ radar, it increasingly comes down to opportunities associated with content marketing and other forms of “native advertising,” as determined by their search tendencies, what media they consume, and other data-driving factors. Native advertising isn’t new — after all, it’s the basis for long-form content. But placing value on content at a scale to create a meaningful dialogue with consumers has just become more important.
- Talent: Despite more notable technological advancements, human and intellectual capital will increasingly become the differentiator. Attracting and retaining the right people who can blend television and digital for optimal response is at the top of the list. Companies are partnering with vendors and hiring talent adept at search optimization and marketing (SEO and SEM), digital video and social media and grounded in analytics. As our industry continues to evolve, top talent will be adept at dealing with change and being open to working in cooperation and competition with the same business partners — the concept of “frenemies” will become more common.
- Multicultural Marketing: President Obama’s executive order will impact the lives of approximately 4.5 million Hispanics in the U.S., about 8 percent of the total U.S. Hispanic population. The action will open up new sales opportunities and will impact the lives and mindsets of many Hispanic households, allowing them take advantage of services and goods not previously accessible — such as personal credit and finance, insurance and purchase of large-ticket items. Multicultural groups are growing 64-percent faster than the general market, creating potential growth for DR marketers.
- Attribution: The old model, which entailed testing a commercial, running it on television, and converting phone calls into sales, meant measuring limited data points. In the coming year, more emphasis will be placed on measuring numerous stats to encompass retail and Web. Looking at each channel, the offer, creative, frequency, length of placement and other factors help marketers evaluate the critical measures based on each campaign. We will all be looking at online and traditional data in an integrated matrix, so marketers know which keywords, search engines, dayparts and calls-to-action contribute to the most meaningful outcomes. Consumers have many options today and are constantly accessing the Web — many using smartphones and tablets — so understanding such channels as review sites, social media and search will pay off. It is important to note that each of these channels is still highly influenced by television and other traditional media.
- Brands doing DR and DR doing brands: While CPG companies will increasingly employ DR strategies and tactics in 2015, direct response marketers will work toward building brands. If a product has a strong perceived quality and a useful, proven application, the ad dollars invested in the campaign can be leveraged to launch additional items in the line — tangential or complimentary products and additional SKUs. More DR marketers are looking to exploit retail — and retailers value brands, which draw consumers to their stores and also drive search traffic e-tail sales.
While different, each of these areas still has the common need for performance metrics and a focus more on outcomes than inputs. Happy New Year — let’s make it a great one! ■