Media Strategy and Innovation

Take up any article on Google about Media & Innovation or Innovative Media Strategies and you will find one thing in common. They all will be talking about how you should emotionally touch your audience, engage with them, show empathy and even how important hashtags are.

That can be parts of a communication strategy, not a media strategy. Because all they are telling you is how to communicate, not where.

Here, we will talk about true Media Innovations and also touch upon simple tricks that one can use to better their media performances. However, you may still need us to create the big difference you want.

We are experts in Strategic Creativity & Communication because we are also the experts in Media Consumption Behavior, Consumers, Brands and Marketing.

Usual Ways, Usual Results

Doing the same things time and again is simply repeating the same mistakes differently.

Innovating in marketing is finding new ways to use available resources to drive better business outcomes. And then closely monitoring its results and using the data to improve future campaigns.

We help you to break the boundaries, without breaking the bank.

We revisit your business goals and put down things after in-depth study. We discuss inspiring work from other campaigns and inspect your competitor’s work.

And then we create solutions that are truly outside-the-box so they remain memorable and not just refreshing.

The Postman Story: Best Analogy to understand Media, Brand and Communication

The Postman is the media, the messenger.

The Envelope carries the name of the sender, that is the brand.

And the Letter is the message, the advertising or communication campaign.

A postman is delivering millions of messages every day, of thousands of its advertisers. Hence, the media will always largely be a constant and you won’t have much in your hands there.

The person who receives your letter will not open it because of the Postman but because of the power of the sender’s name. And then will decide to read the letter full or in part basis the quality of the content. And if you are lucky enough and have worked with us, the receiver will also remember you for good.

Then why do advertising agencies, media agencies & clients concentrate so much on the Postman and fail to follow these simple principles?

The answer is that they are all busy selling their stuff and no one is actually thinking of the brand’s benefit. Everybody has their KRA’s and KPI’s, which on a Monday morning are XYZ and on Thursday evening are ABC. Unfortunately, the brand has only one KPI, to deliver on value creation. Whether in terms of sales or in terms of asset value (brand equity).

On the contrary, everybody wants to be seen busy doing something or the other and proving their work to be the biggest value contributor. And the biggest irony is that business owners realize the truth somewhere but are helpless because they don’t have the right team or people.

Even the best of the clients that are digital-first having their business model completely dependent upon online sales fail and finally come to us through references. And then we have to rebuild them completely. Else we will only be postponing their death by a few months or a couple of years.

Remember these brands tried everything before they became fully ready to hear & follow us. This is precisely the journey style of every good thing in life.

The Big Mistake by Clients: Ignorance with ‘We Have An Idea’ Type of An Attitude

Client: We ‘just’ want to do a digital Campaign. That’s it.

We: Either you have been pressed by too many Traditional Media suppliers or your own understanding favors it.

While your decision may be right, the word ‘Just’ is completely wrong. As a brand development and marketing agency, our job is to tell you the differences and correct the thought process first.

All mediums are extremely powerful and value-based, provided you use them well enough. And using ‘just’ as a word could mean two things:

  1. You don’t want to get into a Mass media conversation where the budgets required are obnoxiously high and the results are slow & non-traceable.
  2. You are not sure about Marketing at all and are giving it a try with the least expensive and seemingly the most measurable medium i.e. Digital or BTL.

But what about Marketing Tools, whether digital or BTL that are owned by you? Do you think they are Mediums in themselves? And do you think you have executed them perfectly well?

No matter how big or small your budget is, look at Media in a holistic manner first. And that direction will come from the Brand Strategy, Differentiation and Positioning. It is then, even a single platform within a single medium will be able to do wonders for you.

Not only Media, but Marketing Activities like Performance Marketing, Content Marketing, PR, etc also need to be understood clearly. Mostly they fail because they lack any genuine & serious brand-building effort. These should essentially be a subset of Advertising and not separate verticals because a lot of these content marketing or even PR are paid activities.

By saying we just want to go digital, or taking names of the terminologies in trend, you have skipped two important steps before it and have fallen into the trap that is intentionally invented for you, almost every year. Please take a look at the two steps in our sections – 1. Brand Strategy and Marketing 2. Advertising Campaigns and Brand Identity Design.

What is a Media Strategy and What are its other facets

Media Strategy

A Media Strategy is a part of Brand Strategy and also part of the Marketing Strategy in the way of plan and outline. It defines the channels, platforms, and mediums that will best suit the brand to communicate its differentiated position to its audience while creating an edge over its competition.

It also works towards increasing the Share of Voice of a brand while keeping the marketing budgets in check.

Media Planning

A Media Plan includes the set of activities for each of the mediums asper the Media Strategy. It also includes the activity duration, frequency, reach, cost and measurement metrics.

Media Selling

Media Houses and Media Agencies have dedicated teams to sell various Media inventories / Advertising spaces. Usually, clients buy through a Media Agency to command a better rate and get a credit period.

There are many practices that are deployed by these Media Houses and Agencies to make illegitimate profits or fool clients, which only seasoned professionals with exposures to heavy marketing budgets & expenditure can only understand.

If needed by clients, on their request, we also help them in their Media Planning and Buying process by going beyond our scope, without any additional charges. This is because we play with our clients for the long term. Please see, we do not ever recommend any vendors because we are not in the business of commissions. And do not wish anyone to even assume things.

Media Buying

At the client’s end, it is usually done by the Marketing or Business Owner and there are various tricks of getting the best deals in terms of space, timing, and cost.

At the Big Corporates or Media Agency level, buying is done in bulk on an annual basis for closing the best possible deals.

How to create Innovative Media Strategies and Plans?

Connections Planning is the way.

“It has become increasingly clear that the media channels we use to connect to our consumers are as vital as the creative content we deliver to them. As consumers gain more control over their media consumption, and as more content and messages vie for their attention, the path to our core consumers becomes increasingly complex” — Bernhard Glock, Ex VP – Global Media, Procter & Gamble

Connections planning, in Disruption Methodology, is about maximizing marketing impact by intelligently selecting scale & usage and establishing linkage of various communication platforms. End to end.

The mission for Connections is two-fold:

  • For inspiration: to help inform and inspire creative thinking, through amplifying, leveraging and connecting big ideas

  • As a business tool: to measure, plan and manage total Brand Experience.

Even advertising campaigns nowadays can’t be generic for all platforms. Though largely your creative campaigns should be media neutral having legs to travel across mediums and time. That means, while the strategy and the central idea remains the same, the campaign creatives need to change to suit all the advertising options, especially on the digital media.

True Media Innovations

There are two types of Media Innovations.

The one that Media does and the second that an advertising or creative agency does

All ad formats that you see including advertorials and sponsorships were media innovations led by the Media. Whether by a Media Agency or a Media House.

For example:

  • 5 Sec Youtube ads

  • Jacket Ads in Newspapers

  • Gatefold Ads in Magazines

  • Advertorials in Television or Print

  • Interactive Kiosks

The second set includes a lot of creativity at the end of the client and its agency

For example:

1. Red FM – Ask Rashmi – The World’s first radio show with a Robot RJ

2. Lifebuoy – OBD calls to people living in sensitive areas where simple hygiene could avoid 21 communicable diseases. HUL’s Lifebuoy used Big Data Analysis to identify and Technology to target relevant areas. Simple pre-recorded calls were given to people in targeted areas creating awareness about the problems and ready-made solutions. As a result of the identification, Lifebuoy could penetrate the areas at the right time, thereby creating a real impact in its CSR initiative.

3. For the client Fitness First, the urban male audience was the key one along with an urban sexy and macho kind of a personality. These were the early days of professional retail chains in the category. And the market was hit by the recession of 2008 with regular advertising failing to convert. As an innovative idea, Durex Condoms were placed inside Men’s Health Magazine (number 1 in the segment, distributed by India Today in India) for Fitness First.

It required a lot of R&D at the production and distribution levels. But at the end series of month on month releases created a top of the mind share of voice and recall for Fitness First.

And since Men’s Health was highly regarded and respected by its loyal subscriber base, people also started recognizing and connecting Fitness First with Men’s Health, the more credible and much stronger brand between the two.

It is also true that such innovations do not happen every day.

4. Rann of Kutch Brochure: Another innovative use of Media was in the BTL category where a Brochure was used to carry the experience of a travel destination so it could be preferred over its competition that had better marks in terms of travelers preferred choice.

We created the brochure for Rann of Kutch using the actual White Sand and when it reached the bureaucrats and top businessmen, it closed the deals for the biggest ticket size rooms even in the non-peak days. That’s the power of experience, power of innovation.

5. Hyperlocal targeting might sound true as of today but we were amongst the first to attempt it. For a real estate player on the Noida Expressway, we used one of the Telecom companies to send messages to potential customers during weekends once they had passed certain towers.

We knew they would go on a weekend with the family and there is nothing else except real estate projects throughout the Expressway. This paved a way for us to hit where it mattered the most. Super targeted potential clients in the mode of shopping. What else we could need. Yes, Coffee and some snacks. Because that’s what we messaged them to have with us on their way back from the trip.

Simple Tricks that a Business Owner can follow

1. Ads will be expensive when you need them. Identify your targets and wait for last-minute deals. You can save up to 80-90% from regular costs.

2. Whenever you come up with a big or important campaign, back it up with inexpensive or free media weightage in order to create maximum impact. Like sending an SMS in Delhi NCR on Friday evening asking people to look out for your Full Page Ad in the Times of India on Saturday morning on Page Number 3.

3. Create a combination of cash and barter whenever possible that will help you save some money and also help you sell your product.

Like this, there are hundreds of other tactics and tricks under our sleeves that help our clients to win in the marketplace.

By now you would have realized our level of expertise in Branding and Marketing and that there is nothing which we haven’t worked upon successfully. In all its depth and width, so we could make you succeed.