This could be termed the era of consumer empowerment where brands must work hard to gain attention and purchasing patterns that lead to loyalty. Brand affection is pivotal. Gary Reisman, Founder and CEO of LEAP Media Investments, recently released an article on brand loyalty among airlines. But emotional attachment to brands extends to every product category. "It's important for anybody, not just airlines ... the point is, as we've always said, that people buy things not based on being 18-49 or having done something six months ago or two days ago," he says. "They buy things because they have a desire -- and that desire is built on a need."
This reality, coupled with that fact that viewing patterns are shifting,is leading the industry down a very dangerous path, Reisman asserts. "By relying too heavily on data and technology while chasing scale for scale sake to drive revenues, we are killing the industry drip by drip," he says. "I'm sensing that agencies and ad tech vendors alike seem to have forgotten why we are all here in the first place; to help marketers develop and execute strategies that build consumer relationships and sell product."
What is the solution? To begin, it is taking a step back and considering the value of the brand affection of the consumer beyond the raw data and the technology that drives it. From the marketers' perspective, how do we discover which content, among the vast array of choices out there, best connects with their brands' most passionate, high potential consumers? And how do we narrow down the overabundance of choices even on a single media outlet?
"By flipping the current TV model on its head!" Reisman says. He offers the following strategic media recommendations:
"That's why we developed our marketing and branding based model at LEAP," Reisman explained. "That is, to enable advertisers to first identify and tag their brand's engaged and emotionally connected consumers and then serve ads to those customers throughout the media ecosystem. It's identity-based marketing and where the market needs to go." Importantly, advertisers should be leveraging the vast array of data and technology at our disposal, but toward goals primarily aimed at connecting with consumers that matter most to our marketer clients, he adds.
As Cindy Davis, Executive Vice President, Consumer Experience, Disney | ABC Television Group stated recently, the next generation of viewers is different from previous generations and the survival of certain brands is at stake. Reisman agrees. "While change is difficult, the world has changed," he notes. "Brand marketers, agencies and media companies must all change our ways or we might just be left in dust."
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