Executive Creative Director and Founder:
A Country for Jane and Trial Run Media
‘Award-winning’ strategic and creative thinker with a keen understanding of business realities. A career built at some of South Africa’s most esteemed agencies, including FCB and Ogilvy, has given Pippa the edge in an industry that is fast moving out of creativity for creativity’s sake to measurable business solutions that are effective and highly engaging.
It’s crazy to think we all used to watch the same content on TV. Some people reading this will remember shows like ‘Chips”, “Night Rider” and “Magnum PI”. The thing about us all watching the same shows, at the same time, was that it made media planning a simple task. Even advertising content could be created around familiar throw away lines uttered by the characters we all knew and loved. Then came channels, which segmented the audience and media planners had to start profiling viewers, putting us all into convenient little boxes that made sense for marketers. Multi-channel options came next further segmenting the audience making it harder and harder for marketers to reach a captive audience. And right now, we are migrating to on-demand TV with Netflix. Why?
Listen to my 12-minute interview with ScottCundill.com on
"Marketing Directors, What if the Netflix Model Could be the Next Marketing Disruptor?"
Appointment marketing is dead
The internet spoilt us. Instead of being stuck in our lounges, watching the same TV channel as our whole family, we could access content that appealed to our own unique interests. So now when we find a TV series that captures our imaginations, we can binge watch (with no advertising breaks), without having to wait for next Tuesday at 7pm when the series would traditionally continue. Yet through it all advertising hasn’t changed. The traditional channels of TV, radio and outdoor have remained marketers preferred communication platforms for over 50 years. Why? In a world that has been transformed by disruptors like UBER, Airbnb, Netflix and Facebook, it’s astonishing that traditional advertising platforms have been glacially slow to respond. TV, radio and outdoor create awareness for brands or businesses. But as the world changes and consumers demand more innovation and increased convenience, a one size fits all advertising model is surely not the future. What’s the plan for the future of TV? As the Netflix model gains traction with no advertising in sight, how will marketers respond? Are podcasts the future of radio? And are digital billboards really the innovation we think they are?
Bringing on-demand to marketing
Perhaps it’s time to go back to the basics. Businesses or brands need a strong pipeline of customers or clients to function optimally. Awareness is fundamental to creating the demand for a product or service but it doesn’t close the deal. FMCG understands this the best. TV, radio and outdoor might tell a consumer a product is available but experience has taught us that actually converting that awareness into sales isn’t an easy task. Consumers are creatures of habit and getting them to switch brands, try new services or change suppliers requires more than a random interaction. This is even harder in a depressed economy where consumers are reluctant to part with money to try untested products. For marketers to succeed they need access to business Intelligence, whether they are selling ice creams or cars.
The Age of the Customer is a new term used to describe the change in the marketing landscape.
Consumers are in charge, with access to multiple channels of information and they want to be treated like individuals. They want communication to be tailored to suit their interests and tastes. If marketing could begin with consumers having free access to product samples so they could try the product and decide if they like it or not, imagine the difference this would make to how marketers spent their budgets. As a brand manager or business owner if you had access to a list of consumers who had chosen your product or service from a menu of options, wouldn’t you be happier to invest in them? Now you could invest in people who had showed a propensity to be your consumer or customer. For consumers this is marketing on their own terms. Nobody phoning them, harassing them or interrupting their favourite TV series. Only choosing what interests them. When the brand contacts them, they’re happy to engage. In fact they want to engage because they want to give feedback, share their ideas and learn more about your brand. Now they’re interested in your TV advert, want to listen to your podcast and are excited about attending your brand or business event.
It’s what Netflix brought to Hollywood. In the past the powerful studios set the agenda. They decided what people would be watching (mostly action films and remakes), they decided how we would be watching it (cinemas first and then onto DVD) – and they decided who would star in the blockbusters. As consumers, we played a passive role waiting for content that would inspire us to part with money for a movie ticket. It’s kind of how advertising works on traditional platforms. We can’t choose the products or services we want to interact with because there’s never been a platform that puts the consumer in the driving seat. Netflix has disrupted the TV and movie businesses by creating content based on consumer feedback algorithms. Their downloads are tracked so that every series, movie and documentary have a back-end of data that identifies who is watching, how fast they watched an entire series, when they watched it and if viewers watched the content that was recommended to them. Now imagine if marketing was like Netflix. What if consumers could choose to experience any product that appeals to them and then choose how engaged they want to be with the brand – like Netflix this marketing platform would change the dynamic from brands deciding the experience to consumers deciding to engage. This would also change how brands could invest in their interested consumers ensuring the brand world is optimised for those who are excited about the product or service.
It's Netflix for marketing
A new platform just released called Trial Run offers brands and businesses the chance to engage with consumers with a very similar offering. Like Netflix allows viewers to choose a series to download, Trial Run offers consumers a choice of product samples on-demand. The samples are loaded into ABIE (automated business intelligence engine) – a machine that releases one sample in return for a consumer’s name and cellphone number. With this information a brand or business can start a two way conversation with consumers choosing how engaged they want to be with the brand - do they want to attend an event, do they want a discount to purchase the product, do they want to be left alone or would they like weekly recipes, so they can use the product in new and fresh ways.
The holy grail of marketing is cracking the code that would see consumers choosing to interact with your brand or business. It’s been tried by companies like Vodacom who offer airtime to consumers if they watch a 30 second ad. It wasn’t a success because the consumer couldn’t choose an advert that was of interest to them. Again, it was a random ‘spray and pray’ experience. Trial Run with Abie’s intelligent data engine allows consumers to choose their marketing experience. Like Netflix, the consumer is now in total control, and their engagement is tracked leading them down a funnel towards purchase, loyalty and personalised engagement.
Appointment sampling is dead. Gone are the days consumers have to purchase a magazine to try a new product. On-demand sampling is the new disruptor that puts the consumer in charge and gives brands and business access to instant business intelligence. Advertising on-demand will give brands the data they
need to make informed business decisions, understand
who their market is and reward their most loyal
consumers. It’s Netflix for marketing and as the world of
intelligent data threatens to leave many marketers
behind, Trial Run gives them a chance to catch up before
it’s too late.
Watch Trial Run in action here