With all the focus on digital have some more traditional channels become ‘novel’? Steve Abbott; Director; The British Consumer Index looks at the stats behind a recurring trend towards brands using traditional media to stand out from the digital crowd.
Marketing communication has changed dramatically over the last few years with more channel options than ever before. As consumers get used to these new, mainly digital, channels their receptiveness to them changes with the initial novelty giving way to familiarity then, sometimes, irritation.
At the same time, with so much emphasis from marketers being put on the ‘new’ channels are consumers looking at the ‘old’ channels through fresh eyes?
Is Old the New New?
Taking a couple of examples:
TV has been around a while, marketers have developed with it and learnt to adapt to evolving consumer consumption of the medium. It has gone through periods of novelty and periods of irritation. Looking at where it is now it looks like it is going through an upturn.
As the chart shows the ‘receptivity’ of TV as a marketing communication channel went through a decline from 2009 to 2013. But, in early 2013 things started to change. TV staged a recovery.
While this seems to be showing signs of a slight correction in the last few months it does seem to be a ‘theme’ that ‘older’ channels have made a recovery.
For example, Radio shows the same pattern as TV except that it has not seen the same degree of ‘correction’ over the last few months.
As the charts below show, the same is true of Newspaper and Magazine ads and Posters.
By way of contrast, if we look at Mobile, a less mature channel and one which marketers are still learning how to best use, we see a different picture.
Until relatively recently mobile had been text messages which had very little appeal to consumers. With the development of smartphones they presented a whole new channel. But, as can be seen from the chart on the left, the initial improvement in consumer reaction started to plateau and even decline as the novelty wore off. In the last few months things seem to have started to improve, possibly as marketers start to become more skilled in the use of the channel.
There seems to be a parallel with the initial novelty value of personalised direct mail many years ago, turning to ‘Junk Mail’ due to misuse.
The challenge for marketers is to know where they are on the curve and to plan their channel mix accordingly.
Looking at the trends as they apply to a particular target market can take advantage of these consumer shifts. One recent example was a Marketing Director who dismissed a channel as being ‘way too old fashioned’. The data persuaded her to test it which resulted in a significant uplift in response. That ‘old’ channel is now firmly established in the channel mix alongside mobile, social etc.
So, maybe old is the new new.
The British Consumer Index (BCI) is the only study which monitors these trends. It now had 6 years of monthly trend data providing marketers with vital data on how different types of consumers are reacting to each communication channel. The full data is now available in a fully analysable Excel Pivot Table format, see below for details.
By Steve Abbott
The British Consumer Index
Some Background Information
The measurement used in these charts is what BCI terms a ‘Channel Score’.
Channel Score combines three of the BCI measures; past response to the channel, acceptability of the channel and potential future response to the channel. The seven permutations of these measures are then weighted to produce a combined score.
Each of the individual measures can also be analysed separately together with recall.
Analysis can be done not only on comprehensive demographics but also by 11 different geodemographic segmentations from; Acorn, Cameo, Censation, Mosaic, Personicx and OAC. Organisations own segmentation models can also be coded into the data to allow analysis specific to their targeting.
Other BCI Modules
In addition to Marketing Communication Channels BCI also collects data on Sectors (Receipt, Acceptability and Intention to Purchase) and Influences to purchase together with Financial Optimism. All of these measures can be cross analysed.
Notes: Figures are collected by The British Population Survey by face to face in home interviews with a population representative sample of 1,000 adults aged 15+ per month. (Total sample size = 73,953).