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Finding Your Marketing Compass: Reality, Meaningful Connections and ROI

Finding Your Marketing Compass: Reality, Meaningful Connections and ROI

At the PPA Festival recently Sue Elms, the experienced media practitioner, consultant, and founder of Skin the Cat Ltd gave us her views on ROI from outside the magazine media industry.

“Engaging consumers in a complex world is hard, and it’s difficult for clients to find good advice when there are mixed messages from advisers and collectively we’ve run off course.

We do need to take stock, recalibrate, and move forward. And we should be doing this with our own compass.

We’ve wandered off course in a number of areas. I want to focus on the targeting one. I was really surprised when I Procter & Gamble admitted it had wandered off target with its use of Facebook, this seemed strange as had its own compass and ignored it.

Following this, I’ve identified six areas where I think we’ve lost sight of our way:

  1. Audience Measurement. What allowed Facebook’s misreporting to remain undiscovered for so long?
  2. Audience Experience. How did we get to the stage where we thought intrusive targeting would be OK?
  3. Creative Experience. How have we reached the stage where 60% of ad content is regarded as clutter?
  4. The Long-Term. When did we forget about this? The IPA has argued for a long time that we’re too seduced by short-term highly targeted activity.
  5. Brand as Growth Engine. When did we get so transactional? 75% brands could disappear and people wouldn’t care. But brands are recalibrating.
  6. Real Peoples’ Media Lives. What about real people, how did we lose sight that consumers use a wide media mix and therefore so should we? Consumers are in a lot of places and have a lot of different attitudes.

But there’s been a recalibration. P&G and Unilever are reconsidering things and ANA, the US trade body, is getting feisty. It’s about rediscovering our compass and to recover your bearings, here are some common sense questions to ask:

  1. How many real people will actually see my activity?
  2. How well will my media choices be received?
  3. How well will my creative impact my brand relationship?
  4. How will this deliver short and long-term value?
  5. How do I avoid being a brand that non-one cares about?
  6. How do I understand my consumers’ real media lives?

When the industry takes these questions seriously it’s good news for magazine media. Quality of environment was once a major consideration but we’ve lost sight of that. If we can regain a sense of its value it will benefit both the consumer and brands.”