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TELLING THE STORY: MATCHING MEDIA EFFECTIVELY

by Ellis Malovany

In a country built on strong social bonds, it’s no surprise to see social-connectors like Facebook,  thrive. Google remains firmly on top of internet views, and Netflix more than doubled Foxtel’s OTT services. At the same time, data privacy concerns reign as the biggest stories across the world and add more confusion in a highly fragmented media landscape.

Since 2016, online usage has surpassed TV with nearly 90 percent of the population online, and the trend is growing. Mobile smartphone and tablets are used by over three quarters of the population, and e-commerce continues to grow with giants like Amazon entering the market and creating buzz and excitement. Australians are spending over an hour a day on Facebook’s site and app, as it gathers data about preferences and likes that advertisers gobble up.

Some campaigns have caught the attention of consumers and have generated excitement, but these successes are unfortunately offset by the general feeling of inconsistency of brand messaging across media platforms. Consistent with the rest of the world, 69% of Australians feel that ads have become more intrusive, but only 73% are noticing ads in more places which is 8% less than the global average.

Highlighting the different perspectives between marketers and consumers, 89% of brand marketers feel there is a greater strategic integration across Desktop, mobile, and TV, while only 48% of consumers agree. Brands appear to be missing opportunities in delivering a consistent message as only 43% of Australians, mostly those who are heavy media users, see a good fit across ad formats, 16% below global averages. And just over a third of Australians feel that ads have been telling better stories, compared to 51% globally.

Across each ad format, from TV and radio to online, Australians rank well below global averages in their positive attitudes towards advertising, with double digit differences in both lower positive attitude and higher negative attitude compared with the rest of the world. Only 5 percent of people were positive about multimedia campaigns translating into a greater likelihood to buy the brand.

Despite the overall bleakness, frequent online buyers seem to have more positive attitudes towards advertising and see better fit across media, are less confused by brand messaging across platforms, and believe brands are telling better stories online. Brands that aren’t taking advantage of their online consumer traffic are missing out on opportunities to build stronger relationships and improve Brand Value. This trend is evident across the rest of the world as advertisers are finding new ways to make digital ads more relevant to consumers. Brands and agencies are experimenting with complex, layered data sets that combine traditional demographic and first party data with emotional, affinity, psychographic, and other data to create more engaging ads.

WINNING STRATEGIES

Research shows that 80% of brand impact occurs on 20% of marketing touchpoints. Successful global advertisers adjust their spending based on where they think they will be welcome and well received, rather than simply going where viewers are. Unfortunately, many brands continue to heavily advertise on TV despite viewership declining, while consumer mobile and internet usage increase.

  1. Irrespective of medium or platform, Australians aren’t interested in fluff. Improving engagement begins with communication that is clear, straight to the point, and enjoyable. Brand messaging should be inclusive and speak to the personal, social, and global values that are important to Australians.
  2. Cross-platform strategies should consider both the message and the medium. An integrated story is important but just as important is telling the right aspect of the story at the appropriate touchpoint and tying them together so consumers appreciate the congruity of the brand message.
  3. Technology can simultaneously personalize experiences for individuals, while also supporting the strong social bonds that epitomize the Australian consumer. Brands can’t follow people around all day without feeling intrusive but artificial intelligence and machine learning investments can help brands build relationships with individuals and groups and provide support when most needed.