Is There a Winner in the Fight Between on and Off?

JULIA GONZALEZ TREGLIA
Head Of Business Development & Innovation,
Kantar Millward Brown Argentina
Julia.Gonzaleztreglia@millwardbrown.com


In the context of the slowdown of global growth, trends are weakened, and therefore strategies for advancement must be reconsidered. In Argentina, this situation is harder because of the crisis of a change of government, which demands that such strategies are more and more efficient.

Technology plays a fundamental role in helping optimize budgets, both for the production and distribution of products, and the development and dissemination of messages. It is precisely here that THE question arises: Should all my communication be digital? However, we believe that the question should be reformulated as: How can I achieve the best possible media mix for my brand?, and complemented with: I am doing my best in the digital world?

Today, there can be only a few companies in Argentina unfamiliar with the benefits of using the digital medium to amplify their message. We have some of the world’s highest penetration rates in social media and time devoted to social media. And even though they don’t carry the same weight as other sectors of the population, even the lower socioeconomic segments and the elderly are represented in this medium. During the last Mother’s Day, at least four brands showed in their communications the intensive use of smartphones among mothers of all ages. The great penetration of this medium, together with the huge segmentation advantage it offers, make it ideal for addressing groups that are outside the mainstream segment, but who can be the first to start new consumption trends. If we add how accessible it is for brands and companies of all sizes, it is not hard to understand why the inclusion of TV in the media mix is now being called into question. Besides, it’s a fact that watching TV is a decreasing behavior, while the multiscreen phenomenon is growing, fragmenting attention during the TV advertising slots.

TV OR NOT TV?

There is local evidence that TV, mostly, is still the medium that creates the biggest impression, making it hard to replace this contribution with digital investment. But being aware of the great contribution the TV brings to a Brand’s Equity does not negate our need to review its efficiency.

The TV´s share in the media mix spend can be up to double that of its share in brand building, showing the worst efficiency ratio from any media. Should you therefore stop investing on TV then? This will depend on the size of the brand and its category, but we should understand that for large mass brands, TV is fundamental to increase/maintain their equity.

We also know that virtually a third of brand building in a campaign results from media synergy. If we omit one of the medium with the largest contribution, we risk losing the additional synergy impact, one we are not even paying for. All of this leads us to state that we should not ask whether or not to invest on TV, but “How much, for my brand in my market, so that I don’t have wastage?”

PROJECT THE RIGHT IMAGE

If we are going to allocate a greater part of the investment in the digital medium, we should be aware of the relevance of creativity. On TV, a bad campaign is only ignored and we lose our investment, but there is no impact on our brand equity. In contrast, a bad campaign in the digital world increases the feeling of invasion and frustration typical that this medium implies. We have seen cases when this undermines a previously positive image. Therefore, here are some tips to take into account if you want to get the most out of your digital communication:

  • Don’t be afraid to show the brand from the beginning: a brand creatively integrated into the message can build, even with only five seconds.
  • Work with the right formats: those offering a kind of reward or the feeling of control over the medium (skippable or auto play) are clearly preferred and can help to decrease rejection of digital advertising.
  • Adapt the content to the medium: expectations and mood are not the same when consuming content in the digital and in the TV environment, for example. And the screen size varies, so details can be lost.

In summary, the temptation to leap into the digital world is big: we could dramatically reduce communication budgets. But this does not mean we would be optimizing our investment; maybe we would only be doing less for our brand. In order to succeed, we should measure what is, currently, the contribution of each medium and at what cost. We should know how to build Equity in the digital medium, leveraging its full potential, and understand how to add more, putting both the ‘on’ and ‘off’ worlds to work together in synergy.

 

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