Social Media Breakfast Ottawa: Digital measurement and consumer understanding

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By Alexandra Reid

The digital marketing space is becoming increasingly complex as consumers find more ways to uncover information about brands. They are looking at websites and social media through their desktops, laptops, and mobile devices but haven’t left behind more traditional channels such as TV, magazines, and radio. Media isn’t dying; media is proliferating and marketers are struggling to keep up with consumers as they demand a more holistic approach to how they receive information and communicate with brands.

That was the message Chris Greenfield, President of Ipsos ASI, shared with the Social Media Breakfast Ottawa audience this week. He stressed that businesses should not put all their money into digital marketing, and whatever they do invest should go towards providing a consistent and engaging experience for their audiences. It’s no longer about just paid media and advertising, but earned media. In this environment, brands should focus on providing consumers with a great experience across multiple touch points, and consider using reach and response as their goals on these channels, said Greenfield.

“Touch points do not act in isolation,” said Greenfield. “Brands must think and act holistically. It’s a 360-approach. Expect consumers to experience their brand at more than one touch point.”

To ensure digital marketing initiatives are successful over the long-term, businesses must ensure they have a plan in place and thoroughly test their digital marketing initiatives. While each channel caters to different objectives, each must be considered individually as well as part of a whole process.

“There is an incremental effect that comes from additional media,” said Greenfield. “Accumulating the effects of all your channels is the best way to build your brand.”

And earned media multiplies the effect of your marketing efforts, increasing a brand’s reach beyond paid initiatives with the potential for a stronger response through endorsement by others.

Social media should be regarded as an amplification channel that is persuasive because it encourages peer-to-peer word-of-mouth referrals, said Greenfield. But word-of-mouth is a double-edged sword as mentions are not always positive and people are questioning the sources of feedback for credibility more than ever.

Additionally, consumers are becoming habituated to online advertising and breaking though the clutter driven through an increase in content marketing activities is becoming more difficult. Marketers have to try harder than ever to find the right approach and then prove that it is influencing their target audiences through measurement.

“Communication lives in concert with context and content and also competes with it,” said Greenfield. “You have to break through substantially more clutter. With the right targeted campaign, you should be competing for your consumer’s attention.”

In deciding which channels to use, it all comes back to your target audience and measuring your activities using proper judgment. “We have to be harder on clients in terms of what their objectives are and whether they are approaching and reaching consumers properly,” said Greenfield.

“You can’t measure ‘likes,’ you have to understand the tone of engagement,” said Greenfield. “A ‘like’ is like me walking down the street and counting everyone who smiles at me as my lover.”

Check out my video interview with Greenfield below for more details on his presentation. I encourage you to ask questions, and will bring Greenfield into the conversation loop as required.

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