You’re not spending enough on Paid Media, and it doesn’t make sense

The media landscape has changed forever. Shock horror. No new news there. However, the majority of businesses are yet to evolve their buying behaviour. Too many are still caught in the ‘this is how we’ve always spent our budget’ camp. Happy to continue investing significantly in Out of Home and TV.

In all my years of working within creative and digital agencies, I’ve not heard anyone say, “let’s spend one hundred pounds on Out of Home advertising”. Yet, the same folk will happily toss the same amount into the Social Media wishing well, hoping it will yield astronomical results to prop up the dwindling and shockingly poor performance of their six-figure and even seven-figure media investments.

Largely, this is where my frustration begins. Anyone can buy a vanity metric. ‘Opportunities to See’ is a pathetic metric that frankly should be outlawed. Give me a few thousand pounds and I’ll get you millions of views on a piece of content. These ‘glances’ or three-second views mean nothing. They don’t impact my recency effect – my ability to recall a brand or message. They don’t lure me to purchase, and they absolutely don’t foster my brand loyalty. So why does industry still listen to the poor operatives of industry who pedal us this tripe?

For decades industry has bought into the hope of eyeball collection. We’ve latched onto data showing footfall or ‘opportunity to see’ outside of a significant public display. Confidently, we’ve invested healthy budgets framed at capturing the yawning commuter’s interest.

We see a ripple of incremental buying behaviour and proclaim “it’s working! Money well spent.”

Except it’s not. The wishing well of Out of Home is drying up, cannibalised by the potency and tangible impact of digital channels.

You don’t have to take my word for it. Simple desk research, or should you have access, a cursory look at the likes of GWI data (Global Web Index) and you’ll see first-hand how Social Media has risen through the ranks surpassing TV and Radio. “No! Not possible!” I hear you say. You really should take a look. It’s been that way for more than two years now.

Aspects of the advertising industry are still the same and rightly so. In fact, strategically, the principles we all cultivated 10 to 15-years ago are more relevant today than they’ve ever been. Understanding your audience in detail, mining their psychological, demographic and geographic data. Homing in on the ‘first thought’ we want our audiences to have upon seeing our creative treatments. And of course, the head-turning, or should I say thumb-stopping creative that speaks to all of the aforementioned strategic elements is vitally important. You really shouldn’t penny pinch on these facets either!

What is also of critical importance is where and how you invest your hard-earned media budget. The performance data of Social Media is so compelling that it’s no longer the runt of the litter. The puppy has grown into a beast of a media dog. A dog that required some puppy training to learn how to be respectful of privacy and legislation, but now a dog that’s the most potent advertising beast the world has ever seen.

Imagine being able to target your primary and secondary audiences with such accuracy that you’re not paying for that irrelevant audience to cross the road and glance at your adverts. Imagine only serving ads to those most likely to have buying intent and future brand loyalty.

Imagine being able to break up the customer journey and serve contextual stories and adverts to those moving through the funnel; serving Ads focused on stimulating Awareness (initial consideration), or probing at Active Evaluation (consideration and assessment of your product or service), and Ads that nudge you to the Moment of Purchase. We call this entire process ‘nudge nurture’ on Social Media.

Imagine being able to do this and see metrics for Ad consumption evidencing 10 second views, or 30 second views or even 10-minute views. The latter can’t happen, right?!

Wrong. Right now, at immediate future, we’ve campaign data evidencing the ultra-time-poor CEOs, COOs, CIOs and CTOs having watched 44,800 minutes of branded content over a defined two-day period. This is viewed time – not three-second glances.

To help you understand what 44,800 minutes of view time is, it’s equal to all 8 seasons of Game of Thrones being watched back-to-back and done so 17 times over by c-suite.

Imagine being able to do all of this and then only spending £100 of your media budget on Social Media.

Some things in industry are still the same as a decade ago. You need to invest well in strategic direction, innovative and impactful creative production, and indeed invest in media to carry your stories.

Some things have changed significantly. Stop investing in the wishing well of hopeful Out of Home and TV and start investing in the very smart, tangible and bottom-line enhancing channel of Social Media.

Imagine your nearest rival doing this while you still procrastinate…

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