It is said that the modern customer is more expectant, more demanding, more promiscuous than ever before. Technology has reduced friction and effort but also raised the stakes, presenting marketers with the opportunity of offering a great experience but also the real risk of falling short. Nowhere have these changes been felt more profoundly than in the media industry – and particularly traditional TV and news brands.
In this on-demand webinar Marketing Week editor Russell Parsons asks UKTV media director Alasdair Weddell and Reach’s head of audience engagement Karen Fleeting how their brands strive to increase engagement in today’s consumer environment.
Reach is the owner of local and national newspapers such as the Mirror, but as Fleeting notes: “We don’t consider ourselves print media any more. Our product portfolio has mushroomed. A title might have been a single print product, and now we still have a print product but also a website, we’re very present on social channels, we have real-life events, podcasts and we do a lot of video now.”
Its brands’ competitive sets are now also totally different. Whereas once they were other news titles or the BBC, now they could be YouTubers or even top 10 chart singles.
“There are many creators online and we’re in competition with all of them because it’s about competing for people’s time – it’s the attention economy,” says Fleeting.
Similarly, in the TV industry, Weddell notes: “Viewers now have more choice than ever, they have more channels they can watch, different devices. TV viewing is actually increasing so the ways in which they are doing it are changing enormously.”
Media companies – like all brands – clearly needed to improve their use of data and insight to meet the new expectations created by all these new options.
Fleeting says that news brands often used to think of their readers as one homogeneous audience, but admits that was because they didn’t have access to the data and insights they do now.
Now, she says the company knows “we have not just one big audience but lots of audiences on different platforms”. They are also interested in different things, and some are more loyal than others. The most loyal will visit Reach’s brands every other day – perhaps more – and will both spend longer on site and view more pieces of content.
“The one big difference even from just a couple of years ago is our increasing consciousness of just how valuable our most loyal audiences are,” she adds.
UKTV, meanwhile, has undertaken a data audit and customer journey mapping exercise to understand viewing habits and customer behaviour.
“Now we’re at the stage where we can start to build models of the linkages between the different parts of the customer journey, whether that be tailoring our marcoms to specific groups and surfacing contextually relevant advertising or ways of getting people through to a different consumer journey,” says Weddell.
The result is a more personalised customer journey where UKTV can surface the content consumers most want to see.
Also in this webinar, the panel discusses how to:
- Ensure communication is timely and contextual
- Meet rising expectations
- Remove barriers to purchase
- Understand customer journeys