Peru: From 360 to 365
Y&R Advertising Lima
Until recently, agencies and advertisers focused their efforts on reaching their target market based on defining and intervening in a “customer journey”. This journey set out points of contact brands can have with consumers, with the aim of surrounding them as they made their journey. This surrounding has led to the strategy being described as a “360-degree” approach, complementing traditional mass media, which was the basis of previous strategies. At one point, this sounded quite innovative and undoubtedly produced - and produces - business results, value and creative possibilities for brands. Data has made it possible for us to put less emphasis on achieving mass exposure instead be more accurate and thorough when choosing the most appropriate point of contact. Perhaps we do not end up surrounding the consumer entirely, as dictated by the 360-degree concept, but we do reach them.
New digital platforms and media have led to this approach to targeting being complemented by a new interpretation of the time dimension. Campaigns in the past always had a finite duration. People talked about the number of “flights” or campaign periods in a year at different levels (brand, product and tactical). No matter how much was done to ensure continuity in a brand’s exposure, brands were limited by their budgets; therefore, if there was no advertising, the brand essentially disappeared from view.
At present, and with the new possibilities opened to us by technology, campaign duration and timing have changed radically. Brands are not only in the hands of consumers to critique or value them, but they coexist and interact with them on a daily basis, regardless of whether a consumption occasion is involved. Most of that contact happens without the need for guidelines to do it. Thus, the “365” concept is born, which is none other than that of an “ongoing” brand or that of a “living brand”. Though brands did not die when their advertising campaigns ended, in a way, advertisers and marketers saw the periods off the air as a sort of “break” or intermission in their communication plan.
That small arithmetic difference between both concepts – 360 and 365 – has huge implications for brand communication. The “space axis” will still be considered for setting strategies, but the complementing “new time axis” is something for which we must be very well prepared at budget level as well as capacity level.
There are several basic elements to enable this kind of strategy to come to life; for now, we will focus on just the three most important ones.
First, it would seem that once the content to be communicated is defined for an entire year, the issue is resolved, but actually this is just when the challenges begin. Problems and opportunities strike at unexpected moments, and this is where the decisions and response capacity of a marketing or agency manager can make a big difference.
Secondly, it is essential to ensure coherence and consistency in where and how a brand presents itself. Let us remember that it is in new platforms and social media where almost 80 percent of brand communication will appear, often with a reach far superior to that of mass media. This means impressions are made on a “day-to-day” basis, rather than built on how extraordinary a campaign is.
The third factor to consider relates to available resources. It is quite different to deal with a concrete campaign than to deal with a 365 brand. Sometimes, neither advertiser nor their agency has the human resources with the necessary time and capacity to manage it.
Traditionally, quotidian life is synonymous with minimal action and sometimes even boredom. Today, the “day-to-day” life of brands is quite the opposite.