Sometimes You Preach To The Choir
At a recent industry event, my colleague Kevin Moeller took part in a presentation alongside Brad Fay of Keller Fay and David Shiffman of MediaVest that focused on using research to build media
plans. The goal was to deliver audiences with a greater-than-average propensity to talk about specific subjects.
The research that was used to illustrate the points being made were USA TouchPoints and Keller Fay's TalkTrack. The sector used as an example was the entertainment industry.
The presentation illustrated effectively how the fusion of these two data sets provided a clear view of where, when and via which media channels one could most effectively reach people that talk to others about, for example, movies with a greater frequency than their peers. The much vaunted subject-matter influencers we all seek to influence these days.
The presentation was generally well-received, but there was one part of the Q&A that followed that bemused me and many others.
The point was made from the audience that while the research was all well and good, the points it made were essentially pointless. No marketer would spend money targeting people who “would already be talking about your movie."
Now either me (and many others in the room) or the individual making this point was seriously wrong in their thinking. Surely the whole point of reaching people who index high on a propensity to talk about a subject are worth reaching specifically, so as to influence what they actually say.
After all, people who talk more about entertainment aren’t going to necessarily be talking about your movie. The whole purpose of reaching them through your communications is to increase the likelihood of them doing so. And to attempt to shape what they actually say. To completely ignore them as a group that has already been identified as being potentially of disproportionate influence seems to verge on marketing negligence.
By the same token, that’s not to say that one shouldn’t be marketing aggressively to those in the target audience who don’t show up as prime word-of-mouth prospects. As in most things, this is not about mutual exclusivity.
But I was astounded to hear someone knowledgeable in media research put forth such a wrong-headed and strongly held view.
Surely there are times when preaching to the choir is part of what is needed and what makes good sense -- if only to make sure they sing the right songs.