(Article 3 in 4 part series)
In the past installments of this marine marketing article series we discussed knowing your market and your customer. To know both is, in a way, to love both. To show that love in your marketing in a customer-centric way, you may need to deploy media in a new and different way, expecting new and different results.
The Value of Media
As Harvey R. Levenson, Ph.D. states, “The market has, for the most part, gravitated to the least expensive delivery methods such as the Internet and WWW. While the reach may be the greatest using these media, the response rate may not be.”
Media is a complex animal, and I am not going to provide a detailed overview of media—big, small, legacy, or digital. All I will say is that the success or failure of your marine marketing effort can be in part linked to your choice of media. Different media to me have value as well as relevance based on the targeted demographics. If we look to the Boomers, Gen “Y”, and Millennials, all three have distinctively different views of the value and use of media.
Some say mobile is the future of media, and they may be correct, but mobile has been the media of the future for the past 5 years and does not seem to be making the inroads needed to prove the theory. Yet this lack of success does not mean mobile is done; in fact, mobile may very well be the broadcast media of the future, offering what your customer needs when they need it. Does that mean that all other media are dead? No way. Integration of media is a key to your success, I do not know of any one type of media that fits all the needs of all the segments that you may well target.
Others state that newspapers and magazines (legacy, print-based media) are dead, down for the count. Maybe. As I have stated, integration of targeted and selected media with other tools does help with extending the count on these “dead” media and will help other media to reach their objectives as well.
Others shout to social as being the future, the place to be. Perhaps. I look too social as verification media, a place to go to share information, feelings, and opinions and check in with your “friends.” Perhaps for some social is a place to buy as well. Mobile, social, and other new media need time to mature, to be defined; we are still in that early stage of new media development.
On The Horizon
Have you used or even heard of SoLoMo? (Call me if this vital concept is foreign to you.)
Media has value. That value is positive or negative, and that value will either motivate or turn off the prospect. It is not only the media, the tool for delivery; it is the message, content, context, and some other important components. Think about this—would you even open a magazine, a direct mail effort, an email that in your mind is outside of your personal inclusion zone, or use a media source that does not provide a direct benefit, a value that to the user (prospect or customer) is beneficial?
The media you choose and use needs to go beyond CPM; the reputation of the media and how and when the media can be used must influence your selection. You need to consider how the chosen media will play with your other plans and with any other media you plan to deploy.
Media is a delivery tool, but media is also the window through which your prospect, customer, or client views your enterprise and all that you offer.
I use the “window shopping” example when I teach at a local (NYC) college. Imagine you are walking down 5th Avenue (insert any city’s main shopping avenue), and you pass the attractive window displays that the great brands offer. As you continue to walk, the beat, the tone of shops, and even the surrounding area starts to change. The window displays also change. The façade of the brands’ location, the content of the window displays, and the subject of those window displays are all part of the delivery of a visual message to the shopper.
Customer Centric Media
As with media, the shopper has limited time to make eye contact and grasp what you are offering. Selecting a magazine or newspaper or any other type of media is the first stage of elimination you face (hoping that you can influence the prospect to slow down to view the window display). Your prospect’s attention to the media used, as with the walker’s attraction to the window display, is in part impacted by the visual (experiential) excitement offered by the media/display. The second elimination is the content, the subject (messaging) of the window— summer offerings in the spring, school needs in the mid-summer, winter offerings in the fall, all gender-, income-, and needs-based. And finally the third stage of potential elimination is the needs of the customer. Yes, many will stop to view the beautiful and costly displays, fewer will enter the brand location and gather more information, and fewer still will make the purchase.
In the end, all media work in a similar fashion, the acronym AIDA (Awareness, Interest, Desire and Action) is still very valid, but as with many proven formulas, things have changed, and the new formula needs to also include relevance, integration, interaction, dialogue, engagement, and action tools that can be measured. As with window displays, the simple days of SALE banners, static mannequins, non-integrated messages, weak content, weak context (can you sell wool hats in Miami Beach?) are over. Incompletely integrated branding and not understanding what your markets want and know (gamblers call this “the tell”) all add up to impact EVERY marketing decision you will contemplate.
Mass media, once the king of delivery tools of all communications, is now sharing the throne and fighting to keep the crown on its head with a slew of competitors to the throne and the crown—print, broadcast, direct marketing, social, digital, mobile, AR, SEO/SEM, 3D printing, and the list continues to grow. During their growth stage, some media will lose footing and fall out of contention; some others will end up in the dungeon of no-longer-needed media (think of the town crier); others will shift their value up/down and survive (such as print media today); and still others may take extended periods (months or maybe years) to finally reach what was expected (such as mobile and social). In the end, the media you use must fit the media expectations of your customers/ prospects. Their demand will be the deciding factor and key influence in your media plan and the budget you allocate.
Media was can also be defined as an extended acronym: Maybe you Engaged me, stimulated a Desire, and generated Interest in your products, services, offerings, but did you provide the proper tools to allow me to Act when, where, and how I wanted?
In the meantime, feel free to reach out and talk to me about this series: Guide to Profitable Marine Marketing.
Latest posts by Thaddeus Kubis (see all)
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- How Marine Businesses can Take Action and PROFIT from Micro-Moment Buying - September 22, 2015
- Is the Marine Industry Ready for a “I Want to Buy Something in a Moment – a Micro-Moment?” - September 15, 2015