Article

Mark Burgess
Mark Burgess 10 April 2019

Creating a Winning Media Plan

Today’s mobile shopper journey has changed the way brands communicate with their audience forever. Endless touchpoints create even more opportunities to reach potential customers. The key is to develop a media plan that ensures your brand is in the right space at the right time, delivering the right message.

Having rocketed from a simple online bookseller to its dominant place at the top of the etail food chain, Amazon has to form part of your media mix. After all, you can’t out-Amazon, Amazon! The challenge is to create a balanced media plan that uses the best channels to reach your audience, presenting them with a consistent message and seamless experience. Drawing on the agency’s extensive eCommerce experience, Mark Burgess, Business Director at smp, looks at both the challenges and opportunities for brands across the new shopper journey.

The shopper journey has changed forever and with it the way brands communicate with their audience. From the meteoric rise of mobile commerce to social media opening (their) who are we talking about here? APIs to optimise social shopping, the shopper journey continues to become more and more mobile, with endless touchpoints in place to help brands connect with their customers.

Understanding shopper motivation is key; identifying which channels are better suited to target consumers through to delivering exceptional customer experiences however is only part of the equation. Now is the time to create a comprehensive media plan that delivers seamlessly across every retail and etail partner.  

The road to delivering on this is fraught with challenges. In the era of hyper-personalisation, the more you know your customers, the better you are positioned to create meaningful connections with them. Content needs to resonate with its intended audience, and this can only happen by taking the time to truly understand them in the first place: researching the challenges they face and creating content that can help resolve them. In other words, it has to be fit for purpose – content that aids discovery will, by definition, be different to content that is utilised to close the sale.

Once you know where content will appear, you can focus on how to best use the space to deliver on its purpose. Brands may be touting engagement, but what shoppers are truly hungry for are two-way conversations. From the very first touchpoint, content needs to create a meaningful connection between brand and consumer. This will allow brands to create consumer profiles that can evolve in real-time, enabling a better understanding of preferences and needs – how customers prefer to be contacted, when and where.

Thanks to the ever-increasing number of touchpoints, it is more important than ever to present audiences with a consistent message and tone that reflect the brand’s identity across all channels. Just as brands create consistent visual identities to aid recall, shoppers are reassured by consistent messaging and pricing across online and in-store environments. Therefore, creating content destined for a specific touchpoint is the way forward. This will allow brands to target audiences through each touchpoint with tailored messaging, while also presenting a unified front, no matter where or when audiences engage with them.

Thankfully digital touchpoints offer great flexibility, but the key is to define the strategic role of each one. Mapping out customer journeys helps with identifying all possible touchpoints and the content that will come to fill them, allowing brands to deliver the right message at the right place at exactly the right time.

When thinking of integration across digital and physical touchpoints, it is important to keep in mind that though the shopper journey is fluid, in many categories the role of digital is limited to discovery. Consumer electronics is a prime example. Whereas digital touchpoints are instrumental in discovery, it is the physical ones that increase consideration. Shoppers may research a laptop or a camera online, but they will want to view it and try it for themselves in person. It is pivotal to create in-store experiences that showcase products and allow shoppers to interact with them to fully understand how they will fit in their lives. Trial is everything. Managing the in-store and online experience in tandem is pivotal in providing a seamless transition between the two.

Taking this to a larger scale, embracing a multichannel shopper journey across several different, even competing environments, is what sets brands apart. Amazon may be the dominant player in eCommerce, with a global reach few others can dream of, but based on your customer insights you should aim for a balanced business. That means cultivating relationships with all partners that are influential to your audience.

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