Understanding today’s marketing landscape

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The Digital Imaging Association hosted a panel of marketing professionals who addressed where dollars are being spent today, why, and how effective the move is to the Interactive Media Mix.

Panelists included: Sue Britton, vice-president, Pareto; Vijay Saxena, marketing manager, Graphics Communications & Professional Colour Solutions, Xerox Canada; Tony Karg, Sr. director of business development & marketing, Fujifilm; and Maura Hanley, president, BigReach Learning. Moderator Doug Picklyk, DIA’s technical committee chair, fielded questions.

Attendees came away with an overview of the following:

  • Hottest new media trends
  • Perceived strengths and weaknesses of print as a communications medium
  • Defining and measuring marketing spend
  • What constitutes great results
  • Mobile advertising

THE FACTS

Tony Karg presented independent data from recent reports that show where marketing dollars are flowing.

Karg’s first stats were gathered from the Print Industries Market Information and Research Organization (PRIMIR). PRIMIR performed research surveys to assess where spending dollars will go. DIA attendees saw results demonstrating future marketing spending in selected channels. PRIMIR surveyed 100 media buyers and thought leaders to capture information about where they considered the demand for different types of print material was going to go. The survey also identified the positioning of the Internet and other online channels. Additional information showed specifically where marketing dollars were going to be spent out to 2012. Overall spending is growing for the Internet and mobile. The survey also showed continued spending with other forms of media such as promotions, out of home, television, merchandising, packaging, direct mail, radio, telemarketing, sales collateral, magazines, trade shows, catalogues, directories and newspapers – in other words, a vast array of media to select from and to strategize choices for supporting selections. Karg’s assessment of this data is that there are significant spends with Internet, mobile, and out of home – and still a significant amount of spends with print media.

Ipsos Reid statistics on the consumer viewpoint, Karg told the DIA audience, demonstrate some interesting facts about response to email marketing. Recent figures show a high number of people who sign up for marketing email, and a high response rate. What is most significant is the willingness of people to continue to receive these messages; the Ipsos Reid study shows this percentage to be high. The same survey shows a noteworthy percentage of people who search for a specific company, product or brand online and a high percentage of people who click on search engine page ads. While consumer gravitation to mobile marketing is increasing, the actual response to this type of marketing is still low. And most significantly, the willingness of consumers to continue to be engaged on their mobile device tracks extremely low. From these stats, Karg extrapolated that print remains a strong media of choice; print isn’t going to be replaced by digital media, he said – not yet.

Karg also reviewed a Chetan Sharma Technology & Strategy Consulting study that demonstrates a significant slant toward digital media, showing the efficiency of mobile and Internet against TV, print, radio and outdoor. When relating time spent with the various media against the ad spend, Internet tracks best, but print, TV and radio still rank very well. The choices are dependent on the product and the target audience as it’s very segment specific.

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REAL WORLD EXAMPLES

Pareto is Canada’s market-leading shopper marketing company. Sue Britton explained its function is to enhance shopper experience and influence shopper behaviour, helping their clients sell more. Britton defined shoppers not as consumers, but as people who have just started to make purchasing decisions.

Pareto has seen – recession and post recession – manufacturers and retailers increasing their marketing expenditures to entice consumers to buy their products. In a retail environment, 80 percent of the purchase decisions are made in the store; and still the best way to market to the consumer in-store is through promotional POP – print-based media. That doesn’t mean there aren’t digital channels being used, but Pareto sees digital deployed to build awareness and to get people into the store. Essentially, though, digital for a lot of retailers and manufactures is still in the cool-factor phase.

BigReach Learning is a marketing communications training company, offering workshops and seminars on integrated communications planning, media management, advertising performance measurement, online advertising, social marketing and mobile marketing. BigReach President Maura Hanley has seen that media buyers are becoming more focused on digital media. Doug Picklyk asked if Hanley was seeing a shift from other forms of media toward digital, and, in general she has – slowly. Hanley thinks that what a lot of marketers are struggling with is that some of these digital opportunities are efficient in terms of a low cost per thousand, or a low cost of production. But, marketers are asking: how do I scale it up to enough people that I know are interested in my product versus what I can do through mass media?

BigReach sees that television is still the biggest piece of the pie for media spend, and the biggest bang for the buck in terms of reaching people. Sue Britton, however, did not agree and raised the question: how many people do you get into a Wal-Mart in one day versus the number of people watching the Super Bowl? You get more eyes on the in-store printed media than on the television commercial. Conversely, said Hanley, there is a different dynamic with the decision to go forward with something more service-based, such as financial products or services. BigReach clients are becoming more disciplined at looking for the best opportunity to shift interest to a sale.

DIA’s presenters agreed that the decisions are complex. Television can provide strong brand awareness while in-store print offers information to consumers when they are ready to buy. Print has high value in certain segments to drive marketing fulfillment. Additionally, there are certain products that are highly driven toward digital delivery.

Then there’s Social Media. Vijay Saxena talked about the key difference between Facebook and Google. Google is based on search results and ranking. Facebook relies more on word-of-mouth and reference marketing. If your Facebook friends recommend something, it influences your own buying decision.

Picklyk sees a focus on the ability to measure the marketing spend and to capture its ROI. But, lots of things can lead up to the buying decision. There is considerable data available though not necessarily real ROI. Just because you have data, advised Hanley, doesn’t mean the cause and effect of a marketing effort can be definitive. In retail, Britton added, there are so many tools being used to capture a buyer’s attention. The increase in sales can certainly be measured, but it’s against the entire marketing activity, not just one element.

What is the hottest trend today?

For digital, it keeps changing. Britton talked about Wag Jag and Groupon as “flavour[s] of the day.” What will it be tomorrow, and how do marketers select the options that will capture the most attention? Many choices represent an additional tactic, not something, in Britton’s opinion, that will replace other forms of marketing, except for perhaps some radio and TV. But as long as business sees more return on marketing spend, they will do more marketing; therefore, increasing budgets.

One of Xerox’s objectives is to assist customers in being more profitable. Saxena told listeners that Xerox often works with their customers to add, as an example, a QR code to a simple black-and-white printed price tag to engage shoppers by taking them to a digital experience. The combination of the multi-media is gaining momentum and also driving additional spending to make sure information does not remain static – therefore more print, more changes to websites, more direct mail – and so on. There is opportunity for both the service provider and its customers to drive more revenue.

Developing content is becoming more diverse. It is either professionally made, or often consumer generated, thus engaging the customer more directly with the brand. YouTube is a digital space that enables utilitarian content to effectively achieve market reach. Most significantly, Hanley advised the DIA audience, if you are going to develop a “place” for people to go, you need to be sure the content is ever-changing so they have reason to go back.

Mobile is still in the early stages and is also fragmented because of the immense number of apps, making the reach of any one app tiny. Advertisers are looking for scale to be able to reach the largest number of people possible and that is very difficult to get right now with mobile, though there is a lot of developmental work going on.

The key point is to develop a marketing plan based on your audience and then devise your tactic specific to that plan. The challenge is to select the appropriate channels to be in.

Who’s driving the shift in marketing space?

Vijay Saxena advised that Xerox has recognized it is largely the new generation driving the shift toward digital. In 2008, Xerox changed its logo not only to expand its image, but to also represent a change in the company’s go-to-market approach.

Saxena explained a targeted marketing campaign Xerox did last year, which allowed the DIA audience to see the statistical outcome derived from each of the media spaces used. One was a direct mail package. The piece included a call to action and a giveaway for respondents. It did not drive the response Xerox had hoped for. They also used social media, partnering with a company to select social media spaces to deliver content and drive “click-throughs” to a Xerox web page. They also developed an article that was placed on a number of blog sites. The response statistics showed campaign results with and without the use of social media. They got the traction out of the social media exercise they wanted – more than what was generated by the direct mail piece. They found that not only were they delivering new content and new value to selected printers, but they were also getting exposure through a media space that developed more interest in what they had to say.

The “New Xerox” now hands out a social media business card that shows how to connect to Xerox Canada through Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Digital Printing Hot Spot Blog and YouTube. The card also includes a QR code that connects to a Xerox YouTube video. The number of followers within these social media spaces is growing month by month. The next steps might be to develop additional content that could interest the followers in a community building endeavour.

Where are marketers finding information?

Xerox is utilizing a research portal that delivers information from industry studies that demonstrate where the market is going, thus enabling Xerox to align its marketing accordingly. The market data communicates the facts. Karg advised that there are many resources that are free such as Twitter, LinkedIn and blogs. And there are other resources and aggregate resources available at various cost levels. Karg further advised the printers in the audience to call on their vendors who have already gathered data they would be willing to share. Marketing bureaus and associations and industry magazines are valuable resources as well.

What are the key strengths of print as a marketing vehicle?

Any service provider needs to target its identified market and sell its value proposition. All the presenters at the DIA meeting concurred that printers can no longer just sell print unless they want to sell it as a commodity. Pareto partners with printers to collectively develop a strong deliverable. Conversely, printers can partner with other service providers to expand their own marketplace strength. Service providers need to be relevant to their customers. They need to fundamentally understand the business their customers are in and what their customers’ needs and marketing objectives are – and then deliver relevant solutions.

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