Major advertisers, like Budweiser, recently created commercials that resembled ongoing stories. The marketplace applauded! The major pivot featured Budweiser’s ability to take a complex story and transcend marketing channels with a consistent presentation. The commercial appeared on television, YouTube, Twitter, and other online platforms. This evolution is more significant than having a campaign transcend media with similar video, print, and audio images. It meant that the campaign was designed technologically and behaviorally to interact with prospective customers whenever and wherever they absorbed content.
Businesses Targeting Messages
Interaction between businesses and consumers are now closer than ever. Across entertainment and information channels, businesses have increased capacity to acquire data on their customers’ behaviors and preferences. In turn, advertisers can communicate more directly. Even, stodgy print media has evolved to where national publications like, Fortune magazine, can target advertising to have a regional focus for readers despite its content having international reach.
Specifically, content creation and social media has evolved so that audience interactions produce data facilitating more feedback and clarity that involve marketing messages. For example, a Scandal episode maintains a twitter feed throughout its broadcast so that fans, producers, and advertisers can observe the audience’s discussion thread in real time. Furthermore, better qualitative and quantitative data permits executing more creative cross-marketing opportunities when producers package entire seasons for streaming services. Forget targeting the audience with marketing content that fits a psychographic inferred from the media channel. The advertiser now gets to communicate directly with the audience as a fellow fan of a favorite show: the essence of developing like and trust.
Consumers Bypassing Messages
Furthermore, consumers get to be even more particular how they receive advertising messages. TV commercials no longer signal the time to race to the refrigerator or bathroom. Consumers have the luxury of digesting entertainment and informational content on their own terms. If Stephen Colbert’s show comes on too late, despite the urgency of his monologue, then subscribe to The Late Show app or YouTube channel and watch it in the morning. The commentary is just as sharp over morning coffee. Regardless, marketing messages are equipped to be more tightly associated to individualized consumer tastes; in the event that they are not skipped altogether.
Best of all, with increasing power going to the consumer, advertisers must be more engaging or risk being totally ignored. However, commercials that do strike a chord with the audience become part of the entertainment experience. State Farm commercials are watched repeatedly as they deliver identical scripts to two totally different, yet related scenarios, regardless of what YouTube video, or sporting event, is viewed. They are genuinely funny (“Is this suede?… I love suede.”). Deftly targeting audiences and blending content with entertainment messages results in consumers becoming more closely aligned with content, advertising and purchases.
Through emerging technology and its coordination with both entertainment and informational content, marketing becomes more efficient for businesses that embrace this new reality. Suburban mothers buying cleaning products based on their favorite soap opera is over. Today, newly regentrified moms watch only the ads that they like while they follow their favorite characters on mobile devices, wherever their busy lives may take them. Savvy marketers still communicate with their targets where they are, in ways that they want to receive it. Fortunately, marketing tools continue to expand to keep up with consumers’ demanded flexibility and creativity. Effective marketing means that viewers are exposed, entertained, and analyzed to maximize marketers’ ability to interact with their audience to establish buying habits.
By Glenn W Hunter
Principal of Hunter And Beyond