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Tuesday 8 October 2019

"Patience is bitter, but its fruit is sweet" - Aristotle

Today and into the future, businesses must go farther to serve people’s increasingly complex lives. The stakes are being up’d in an ever-more connected and fast-paced world to consistently deliver breakthrough solutions that disrupt the marketplace. Technology may have rewired possibility for the better, but it’s also helped to create a new world of challenges in the modern workplace.

Professionals trying to navigate this new world are increasingly stressed out. According to Career Cast, the most common cause of stress = tighter deadlines [1].

Career Cast’s findings echo a national survey we conducted on limitations on performance in the workplace. As you can see below, when respondents were asked to rank the top 3 limiters on job performance, time-stress issues weren’t far off from the worst offenders. And given other learnings, I wouldn’t be surprised if time-stress issues contribute to poor work environment/culture and management styles.

With one in five Canadians experiencing a mental health problem or illness each year and workplace stress the primary cause of these issues [2], this is not being taken lightly by businesses. As of 2017, 53% of large businesses in the United States reported having a wellness program in place – introducing yoga, mindfulness, and meditation into their offices and corporate culture [3].

But can this issue truly be solved by reactionary wellness programs? I believe we need to have a major shift in our attitudes towards tight deadlines and the rat race culture of the modern workplace that causes the stress in the first place.

Unfortunately, most businesses won’t sign up for such an overhaul without a strong business case. The business case for me has always been to think about the negative impact the current culture has on growing a business. 

In my realm of experience, I’ve seen:

  •  Good creative killed because we are reacting too fast to initial tracking data and not letting the media do its job to optimize recall in the new media reality. (And this is coming from a person who supplies the tracking data!

  •  Pivoting from well-planned long-term brand strategy because we are relying on quick digital A/B testing results and using acquisition campaigns to assess brand impact?.

  • Brands missing out on exceptional strategy or breakthrough creative because marketers are not providing agencies enough time to develop and deliver the work. 

 So where do we go from here?

Progress is a slow process; changing such attitudes will take time, commitment and acceptance of short-term risks for longer-terms gains. We need to start the process by challenging the highest levels of decision-makers in an organization to lead the way.

If that decision-maker is you, it’s time to take a serious look at deadlines and delivery within your organization.  Ask yourself, what’s really driving the deadlines? Are they artificial or essential? How might you make “thinking time” a mandatory, rather than a luxury? Or, what tools can you implement to better understand employee capacity?   

If you’re not that decision-maker, send this article them. Don’t worry, if you’d like to remain anonymous, let me know and I’ll send it to them myself!


(3) Welnys

Friday 6 September 2019

Video killed the radio star. Digital killed television. Wait. Scratch that. Nothing seems to be able to kill television.

Since the early 1990s, the Internet has dramatically altered the way people consume media. In the time since then, marketers have struggled to keep pace with the ever-changing and increasingly complex media ecosystem. Many have hypothesized that digital media would displace TV, the perennial king of the media mix, as the most efficient way to reach our target audiences. In fact, advertisers often contact me for a POV on whether they can ditch TV from their media mix altogether.

With buzzwords like “cord-cutting” constantly trending on LinkedIn, this attitude is no surprise. However, my data continues to show otherwise. In today’s lightning-fast, disjointed, and competitive media market, TV remains a resilient mainstay.

Across all categories, we continue to see TV generating incremental advertising recall. See the example below from 3 different categories; among those who are able to recall a campaign, a significant proportion of that recall is coming from TV specifically.

Yes, it’s no secret - traditional TV viewership is declining year-over-year. In fact, there’s mountains of data available that explicitly shows this. Just look at these alarming figures from Nielsen:

Still TV doesn’t seem to be going anywhere, anytime soon. As a matter of fact, advertisers who choose to cut mass media from their communications plans are typically on the receiving end of a tough lesson on its resiliency.

Here are two recent case studies that showcase this:

Case Study #1:

After 3 years of investing in TV advertising, a client decided to refocus their efforts on digital media. Hoping smarter targeting and contextually relevant messages would unlock greater efficiencies. As you can imagine, the opposite occurred. Despite no change in media spend; their digital and social media advertising efforts were getting lost in the noise and campaign recall across all media declined by almost 50%. Highlighting the importance of TV’s halo effect when working in tandem with other media.

Case Study #2:

Though not specifically TV, this case study shows the importance of maintaining a balanced media mix that includes a broadcast medium. A client had been primarily using digital advertising with some light print media for 3 years. After adding radio to their media mix, the campaign’s recall in tracking doubled.

The impact of a balanced media mix (that hopefully includes TV if you can afford it) does not stop at ad recall.

In case study #1, brand awareness saw a 24% decline the year TV was dropped from the media mix. While in case study #2, as a direct result of moving away from their digital only efforts, not only did ad recall double, but so too did brand awareness.

So what, now what?

The steady decline of TV viewership coupled with shrinking marketing budgets, has definitely dethroned the perennial king of the media mix. TV is no longer a no-brainer for every communications plan – on the contrary, for many it’s a nice to have.  

If your media strategy calls for TV as part of your advertising efforts, consider it money well spent and continue for as long as your budget allows.

Broadcast media reaches the most eyeballs and does so in a non-personalized, “my neighbor probably saw this commercial too” kind of way. It extends beyond pushing contextual “buy this shirt you looked at 3 weeks ago” selling messages and has the ability to create water cooler talk and genuinely impact pop culture. Helping to drive campaign recall and brand metrics in ways digital advertising (so far) has not been able to.

TV may not be king anymore, but it’s still part of the royal family in the media mix; and until another channel can shape pop culture the way TV can, it’s not dying anytime soon.