Bringing Media In Line With An Audience-First Approach To Marketing

Bringing Media In Line With An Audience-First Approach To Marketing

Marketers are increasingly touting the importance of adopting a consumer-first approach. But how many are truly allocating media dollars in the same way? In this piece, ThinkNewsBrands CEO, Vanessa Lyons, explores new research designed to shine a light on the media moments that matter most to consumers and what it tells us about current media planning practices.

Marketers have been striving to apply an audience-first lens to all aspects of their work in order to build and maximise engagement and lifetime value. This is critical if we’re to demonstrate the true value of marketing and its impact on growth and commercial value. It’s also a smarter and necessary way of operating when budgets are only going down, not up, contextual relevancy is fast becoming table stakes, and consumer attention is so utterly fragmented.

Vanessa Lyons, CEO ThinkNews Brands

But while this consumer-oriented approach is increasingly valued from a product innovation and CX perspective, there remains a significant gap between such efforts and the old-school, reach-based way marketers and media agencies continue to think about media channel spend.

It’s high time we challenged the binary way we allocate media dollars and considered both reach, engagement AND consumer motivation outcomes to the impact our work is having. But to do that, we need informative data and insights that constructively help us evolve.

This year, ThinkNewsBrands set out to understand media effectiveness more holistically via a comprehensive research study with market research consultancy, FiftyFive5, specifically focused on understanding media consumption from the consumer’s perspective.

It shouldn’t be a novel approach, but it is. For years, the industry has viewed media patterns and reach from the inside out and in terms of one channel compared to another. Our ambition with this research is very much to break this pattern of behaviour. Instead, we want to put audiences centre stage in the discussion to understand which media moments offer the best value reach and frequency, and which aspects of this experience deliver the best impact.

This research has been developed using a three-pronged approach to achieve an apples-for-apples comparison of media channels as consumers really think about and use them. Because it’s only through the media moments that matter most to the consumer, not us as media operators, we can really understand our media mix in context.

The results are a fascinating read. And certainly, they prove out our belief Total News Publishing truly shines in the media mix when it’s considered in a holistic way, across the day and week, and when both reach and engagement aspects of Total News Publishing are considered and combined to gauge impact.

The new results also bust several persistent myths. For one, media channel shareability. Research shows clearly Total News Publishing is a highly talked about and shared media, sitting in the top three media types for sharing content and information behind specialist media such as magazines and podcasts. Of consumers sharing content, two in five are sharing news content, and half of consumers discussing news articles shared this on social media at least once a week. Overall, Australians are twice as likely to talk about news versus something they saw on TV, saw outdoor or heard on the radio.

The research equally makes clear how diverse the readership of Total News Publishing is by category and occasion. Yes, breaking news remains a top reason for engaging with news channels. However, consumers additionally exhibit diverse category consumption from politics to sport, business and finance, environment and sustainability, and technology.

Besides news publishing knocking it out of the park when it comes to being the channel of choice for authoritative information, nearly one in four consumers often look to news to lighten the mood too – albeit a lower percentage than other channels like social media. But this in itself helps us understand how the majority of news readers are more likely to absorb information, rather than purely be distracted, when they come into this channel specifically, underpinning attention and motivation to engage.

Total News Publishing has much greater impact on Australians every day, and has much more to offer, than marketers and media buyers are giving it credit for. Based on reach alone (at 96 per cent for Total News Publishing), it’s probable you should be spending a bit more. However, take the multiplier effect Total News Publishing exhibits, and there are even more reasons to spend more.

On top of reach all day, every day, news readers are focused, engaged, and seek out information and content. If you factor in the amplification effect of Total News Publishing through its shareability, you should be thinking about news even more. If you then consider the fact consumers are not finding ads in Total News Publishing annoying compared to comparative media channels and it’s not interrupting their experience, marketers should be even more diligent and invest in news. With Total News Publishing, you are investing in more than reach, you are investing in high-quality frequency.

This research provides an important benchmark for gauging the media moments that matter to today’s consumers across channels. It shows us what our audiences are thinking. It gives us a foundation with which to start repositioning above and through -the-line advertising through an audience-first lens.

It’s high time we stopped this either/or approach to advertising and brought a consumer-first lens to the way we select and spend our media dollars, as well as how we think about below-the-line activities.

As marketers, we all preach about being consumer-led. So let’s be sure we choose to be consumer-led in our media placement too.

Consumer-led research reveals the holistic impact of Total News Publishing for advertisers in the media moments that matter most. Download the facts now.

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