Today’s audiences are bombarded with ads—and, yes, your audience has learned how to tune them out. So, how does a marketer break through the clutter and get the RIGHT message seen by the RIGHT audience member at the MOMENT they will be interested in your product or service?
We start with the fundamentals of REACH, FREQUENCY, IMPACT, and EFFICIENCY.
REACH is all about reaching the right audience. Today’s audiences have thousands of ways they consume information. Once we define our audiences, we need to select the right media vehicles that our specific target audiences utilize. This involves clearly pinpointing the characteristics of your target audiences, researching your target audiences’ media-consumption habits, understanding when your target audiences will be interested in your product or service, and knowing all your possible media-targeting options.
Reach may be accomplished with traditional and nontraditional advertising and, of course, is dependent on your audience’s demographic and psychographic characteristics. You will want to reach as much of your target audience as possible while maintaining a high level of frequency of your ads. This means, you might want to reach fewer of your target-audience members in order to maintain a higher level of frequency. For most advertisers, high reach equals high budgets.
FREQUENCY refers to how often your audiences encounter your ad. In today’s world of ad overload, your audiences often need to see or hear your ad 7 to 15 times for your message to resonate with the right timing and entice them to become a buyer. In the past, prospective buyers needed to see your ad only three to seven times. Today’s information-overload environment means your target audience needs to get through six essential stages before they convert: 1) awareness, 2) interest, 3) comparison, 4) trust, 5) adoption, and 6) endorsement.
Stages one through five all come while we are building the frequency of your message. Stage six (endorsement) comes when you deliver a great product in a timely fashion that exactly fits the buyer’s expectations of their purchase. Frequency also comes from running your ads on multiple media channels and tactics. When your ad is seen in different environments, it adds to your target audience’s recognition of your brand and builds the level of trust required for them to become a buyer.
Many advertisers forget about a very important advertising tactic that goes directly towards creating frequency, and that is RETARGETING visitors who have visited your website. If someone visits your website, they are more likely to become a buyer of your product or service. If they leave your website without becoming a buyer, then retargeting them with your ads has a higher likelihood of success than finding new possible buyers. Retargeting helps create frequency.
IMPACT is all about the types of media your target audiences consume. Today’s audiences are bombarded with ads, so we hit them with full-page takeovers, full-screen interstitial sizes, and media channels that include traditional and nontraditional tactics. We want to create a media mix of tactics that allow us to follow a target-audience member throughout their day. We may hit them with radio and outdoor boards, bus wraps, banner ads, video ads, digital audio ads, social media ads, search ads, ads in the online newsletters that they read, direct emails to their inboxes, theater ads, gas station TV, shopping-mall takeovers, and, of course, many more channels and tactics.
The point is that we will figure out what media your target audiences consume and reach them through a number of media channels throughout their day. It’s one thing to place ads in multiple channels, and it’s another to create impact with your ads. We create impact, of course, with the creative message, but also with front- or back-page ads, home-page takeovers, interstitial-size (full screen) ads, and native ads that show up in people’s newsfeeds or spliced within the content they are reading. The object here is to interrupt the target’s consumption of information in a way that gets them to notice your ad.
EFFICIENCY refers to measuring effectiveness. In today’s advertising environment, every aspect of a campaign can be measured in order to determine what media channels are working better than others, what creative messages are working better than others, and what creative size units are working better than others. Techniques such as using unique ad identifiers (UTM codes) can help determine efficiency of different channels and ads. Using conversion codes on your website or landing pages can determine you audience’s actions and where their experience in buying your product or service might be breaking down. By measuring ad effectiveness, you can optimize the best-performing channels, tactics, and creative messages and greatly improve your ROI.
In this day and age, when consumers have learned to tune out ad messaging—or in some cases literally turn off advertisements—we need to be creative in our media approach. We need to be persistent with our methods to reach them. We need to provide the right messaging (by measuring what’s working and what’s not). And, finally, we need to provide your prospects THE REASON why you are their best choice.
Dale Timberlake is cofounder and head of digital strategy for Timberlake Media Services, Inc., a full-service media-buying company based near Chicago, Illinois. Stamats and Timberlake have enjoyed a five year partnership working together to meet the media needs of colleges and universities across the US.
For more information about Stamats partnership with Timberlake Media Services and what we can do for you, contact us at 800-553-8878
Timberlake Media Services, Inc.