With the proliferation of choice when it comes to consuming both products and media, the way forward for any smart marketer is to just embrace it. There is a lot of upside to what is happening in the marketplace, especially from a targeting and addressability standpoint. It means we can be more relevant with our message, and relevance is what leads to higher engagement. Engagement drives consumers to seek more information, stimulates interactivity and gives them the ability to take action. Yes, we have to keep an eye on privacy laws, but — having said that — technology is catching up across most mediums that allow us to more easily segment our audiences so that we can deliver messages that are specifically relevant to them. This alignment is particularly important in the paradigm shift we see today in the way consumers and brands interact. We now better reach consumers across channels with integrated messages and highly personalized communications.
The first step in all of this is truly understanding your audience — both your core and your growth audience. It goes far beyond demos and psychographics to deeply understanding the audience values, mindset, opinions, behaviors, decision pathway and experience. Then, marry the right audience to your products and services and serve up the most relevant message to them. It is as simple, and complex, as that.
We are doing this digitally, of course, and behavioral targeting is a good example as it allows an advertiser to serve up a message based on a consumer’s behavior. We’ve made headway with mobile, iTV and social — using geo-targeting and interactive messaging, and now with the ability to respond directly to customer comments and feedback. Social allows us to build a living community of our brands’ best customers and create not only a direct connection but also a personal relationship.