With great advertising opportunities like the Jubilee celebrations, the Olympic Games and Euro 2012 almost upon us,brands will face the harder-than-ever task to build relationships with their audiences due to the high volume of advertising experienced daily by consumers.
But help might be at hand: Last week consultancy Creston Unlimited published their “Brand Enrichment Report”. The report identifies pleasure, responsibility and status as the most influential factors for consumers when choosing a brand. But appealing to these factors alone won’t cut it for brands – in fact the report exposes several areas where marketing is failing to make the most of these connections. And this is mostly down to whom brands are targeting.
Some target groups are more desirable from a marketing perspective than others. Not a revolutionary insight admittedly – brands and marketers have known for ages to target the ABC1s, the city workers, stable family units, yummy mummies, males with high disposable income… Well, it turns out brands are missing quite a few tricks by targeting these audiences, as they perceive brands to have little or no influence on their quality of life.
The people brands should really be targeting as revealed in the report, are, controversially, the ones on a low income, particularly woman and single parents. These audiences overall gain far more from brands than average, the research showed, and claimed that brands improve their lives. Low-earning women feel particularly enriched by brands and the same holds true for single parents, for whom brands can act as “surrogate partners” as well as providing escapism.
But single parents rarely feature in advertising and you almost never see the C2DE demographic as a target audience on a creative brief. This is a profitable missed opportunity for those in charge of brand communications, demonstrating that companies across all sectors still have much to learn about what consumers gain from their relationships with brands.
There are a number of obvious reasons though, why brands target whom they target. These are mostly linked to brand image: Brands fear for their perceived value and status when positioning themselves as the single parent, low-income-audience-brand through mass advertising.
So we suggest they don’t. (Bet now we’ve got you scratching your head.) What you really want to do is approach the C2DEs first-hand. Filter out single parents and those on low income and talk to them directly. Build on their desire for a personal, in-depth relationship with your brand and exploit it to the full. This is not something you achieve through mass advertising – you best achieve this through an experiential marketing campaign.
Experiential Marketing allows brands to engage with consumers on a personal level, by delivering one-to-one brand experiences and fostering emotional connections. The best way to get someone to like a brand is to encourage them to try it out for themselves, which is exactly the type of experience an Experiential Marketing campaign is looking to promote.
An Experiential Marketing activity is also designed to filter target audiences better than a mass communication tool. The experiential activity can be planned and set up to seek out the C2DEs and single parents. This way brands can optimise their spend by reaching exactly who they set out to reach.
Experiential Marketing is also often useful in enhancing brands’ CRM efforts. Data-capture mechanisms such as Digi Walkers, face-to-face surveys and questionnaires work very well during Experiential Marketing campaigns and will increase the ROI of the Experiential Marketing Activity immensely.
Experiential Marketing could just bring the best of both marketing worlds within a brands’ reach: If a brand is looking to engage with single parents or hoping to build long-term relationships with low-income audiences, Experiential Marketing is a great way to exploit the brand bonding opportunities with these highly loyal target audiences, without compromising the brands’ image and status.
Written By: Miriam Kuhn, Marketing Coordinator, Ambient Media Worldwide Ltd
Barnett, M. (2012), “Laid Bare: The facts about brand bonding”, in Marketing Week, [www] http://www.marketingweek.co.uk/trends/laid-bare-the-facts-about-brand-bonding/4000383.article (last accessed: 14th March 2012)
Creston Unlimited (2012), “Brand Enrichment Report – Creating effective brand value”, [www] http://www.creston.com/Documents/Studies/Brand%20Enrichment.pdf (last accessed: 15th March 2012)