Net Gains: How Many Screens Does It Take to Make the Sale?1 May, 2013 By: Karen Kluger, TouchPoint Integrated Communications Response
We know consumers are multi-tasking. They’re sitting in front of their television sets with numerous devices in front of them — texting, surfing the Internet, doing research and being social — all while watching your TV spot. This new paradigm creates an environment where media messages move quickly and direct marketers must be prepared to deal with this further fragmentation to their traditional response channels. Not only do you need to understand exactly what channels are influencing your customer’s purchasing behavior before they end up at your digital or physical store, but what really brought them to purchase.
The challenge for us isn’t simply the right media mix between digital and traditional channels, but understanding the whole picture of how our target consumer is moving, switching and getting lost between different channels, messages and locations. Now to really confuse things, toss in the impact of social media, and then the ultimate: how do we measure it all?!
Let’s start with how to ensure the right media mix and what combination is really going to elicit the desired response — whether it be call, click or drive. The mix, of course, will depend on your target, their consumption habits and budgets. Then, it’s time to overlay what media professionals know: how offline channels (i.e., DRTV) positively impact digital channels and drive online engagement.
There are many studies and tools available that can help direct these initial decisions, but good old historical data and having professionals with channel attribution expertise is crucial to minimizing clients’ risks and more importantly their advertising dollars. At the end of the day, most marketers can agree that all your media needs to work together to reach prospective consumers on their terms, with a meaningful message that is engaging and will elicit a positive return on investment.
Let’s add social media to this mix — a channel not to be ignored, or worse yet, dabbled in. Don’t be fooled: social media can make or break your business. As Paul Gillim, author of The New Influencers, said, “Conventional marketing wisdom long held that a dissatisfied customer tells 10 people. But, in the new age of social media, he or she has the tools to tell 10 million.”
Remember, you are not promoting your business — you are creating relationships within communities. If people feel you are at one with them, they will support you and recommend you to others. Speaking their language and finding ways to interact and connect with them are crucial to building long-lasting positive relationships. Social media needs to be incorporated into your overarching communication strategy so that you do not find yourself just listening to all the messages, but rather taking advantage of all the benefits: increased awareness; site traffic; managing company and product perceptions, good or bad; and, of course, getting a better understanding of your customer’s needs and desires.
To say that any one company has cornered the market with a channel attribution model would be false. Companies are implementing and testing these models derived from Excel spread sheets to in-depth analytical outside resources.
What we do know, and can all agree upon, is that not only do the offline and online channels have a significant impact on each other, social media has added an additional level of interaction, exposure and vulnerability to every company promoting itself and its products and services. All advertisers must challenge themselves and their agencies to continue to find the best model to maximize the value of their communication stream to their potential customers — and always ensure that they have the one variable they want at the forefront: increased ROI.