Since the birth of P & G’s “Above the Line” and “Below the Line” in the 1950s, brands have been thinking about where they should focus their spending. They developed teams for this invisible line, which arguably allowed some of the most beloved brands to flourish. However, we are not in 1950 anymore. We are probably due for an upgrade.
Most brands have now adapted their structures to focus more on the brand and trade: one to protect and promote the brand, the other to drive and market it. However, with social media now becoming a brand’s best friend, where does that fall? Are you creating a whole new team? Is this a place for you to build your brand or a place to trade your product?
From a business perspective, we think this is where the conversation needs to change. We need to move away from the media type itself and start developing a more strategic approach based first on the marketing objective, with an agnostic view of media selection.
Let’s take digital media as a starting point. According to EMarketer, digital ad spend in the UK is expected to grow 16.8% to £ 19.2 billion by the end of the year. Retail will lead all other categories even further in 2021, spending £ 4bn, with the consumer packaged goods sector in second, reaching £ 2.8bn. Of this, social media ad spending is expected to reach £ 5.2 billion in 2021. With 77.9% of the UK population on social media, it’s easy to see why these numbers are growing at such a rate. .
But as all of our social media experts will agree, this is an extremely complex channel. One of our clients recently said that social is “the way people are helped in their daily lives”. It’s not just for one purpose, it’s for all purposes. Therefore, categorizing the channel into something that is only accessible to your brand or sales teams can only mean one thing: your brand ultimately loses out.
Itsu is a great example that came through our office recently. Only one influencer created the now infamous #salmonricebowl – nothing technically groundbreaking, but with 600 million hits on the hashtag alone, it’s become a sensation. Itsu has taken action against the tide, leading to a 108% increase in seaweed sales in the past three weeks. It can be argued that all of the content generated supported the image of the brand, but more importantly, it generated extremely impressive sales figures.
This is just one example, but it’s something we see everywhere. For us in the commerce landscape, it’s about tearing up the rulebook and starting from the marketing objective, developing the message, and selecting the right media for the job at hand. For brands trying to target consumers at the “point of consideration”, we shouldn’t limit our media potential due to internal structures. We need to broaden the mandate of our marketing teams, bring channels like social media back to the sales team table, and be more aware that one type of media doesn’t have to do one job at a time.
It might sound simple, but many brands are still focused on a ’50s way of working, which inevitably only hinders their potential for growth. Brands could make their media work harder by being courageous in their strategy and planning decisions. If we see a brand’s return on investment of £ 3.81 using digital signage to get to a physical store – a channel normally reserved for performance marketing – think about what your brand could achieve by ripping the book apart. of media rules.