I have stopped watching TV for 6 months now. I find the content boring, treatment outdated, and intent problematic. However, my father, who has a penchant for news, recently visited me and thus I had to recharge the idiot box again. He fiddled with the TV remote instead of the dish remote and the result was what we had experienced in the DD era -- noisy, erratic sample AV and TV behaving like a secret agent gone rogue.
The TV was reined ultimately with the fine-tuning of both remotes, which made me wonder whether both the remotes were similar to what I deal in advertising on a day-to-day basis – offline and online Media.
Two to tango
Today’s marketers have a new problem. Branding strategy a few years ago saw most of the work happening in the form of templates as per the industry and tweaking was done on the basis of brief and spends, although admitted secretly. Even briefs had templates, which were managed in a sacrosanct manner and passed down like a baton from one brand manager/agency to another.
Times have changed drastically in the last half a decade, with templates being archived, spends being put under the lens and performance-led marketing making an entry into the P & L statements of corporates, of course towards the liability side. This is like handing over another remote to marketers and forcing them to operate it to fine-tune and derive best results out of both.
Relinquishing the other remote is not an option as advertisers are allocating on an average 30% and more towards digital. This remote has powerful buttons like influencers, SEO, SMM, ORM and the buttons are getting added fast.
We must not just maintain pace but also learn to tame this beast to get a pleasant marketing experience and best results for our clients. With the number of smartphone users crossing 500 million and set to almost double to 900 million by the end of 2022, it is necessary to deliberate upon how to be future-ready and make the best use of both remotes.
ROIs and where to find them
The pattern in spends of online media can be best summarised in one word -- sporadic. While devising a branding or sales strategy, both online and offline are made to run on two tracks, with these tracks mingling at key milestones set by brands/agencies. The offline has a headstart with online spends heightening at these milestones to optimize results. For example, a brand is launching a product variant and it is spreading awareness for the same.
Offline advertising takes its own course prior to the launch syncing with digital only near to the date of the launch. Even with companies that have a digital-first strategy, this gets inverted and spends get synchronised at milestones.
With COVID-19, marketing budgets have been impacted in both segments but we will see better synergies of both segments and for the better. We will see tracks merging soon so that these are not competing but complementing each other.
Offline mediums which have a measured and proven track record, and can somehow be integrated with digital, will definitely see a better reception than the ones which count on brand awareness and brand building. So, get set for brand managers reiterating ROI multiple times in upcoming briefs.
The mix-pack ads
The tonality of the digital media mix is also set to change in the post-COVID-19 era. Since, there are constantly emerging trends in digital, there is a fear of missing out, which keep digital marketers on their toes. No wonder, we have seen brands jumping into the fray when they had no business even being remotely connected to the trend.
In today’s market, spending is driven by sentiments rather than output. This results in fatigue, which further impacts productivity. However, as the dust settles, and the microscope shifts from the virus to marketing spends, marketers will be more cautious and demand a media mix which will do justice to the ROI.
So, it is prudent to have a more calibrated approach to digital and offline media when jumping the bandwagon of the latest fad. This will benefit the offline media as spends get evenly distributed to optimise results.
Sooner or later, digital experience will claim its space. Digital will become a part of customers’ experience through offline activities and will leave a lasting impression. We already have AR/VR-led activities enticing the customer’s imagination.
With technology becoming accessible and penetration of high-end technology making inroads into our day-to-day life, digital integration with offline will work together to create experiences that customers will remember for a long time to come.
(Edited by Apoorva Puranik)
(Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of YourStory.)