Reaching Today's Multimedia, Multitasking Consumers

There's no question that the explosion of new media has disrupted media buying and left many consumer brand marketers scratching their heads as to how to best reach consumers. Many articles and white papers have been written, with many more to come, about the increasing complexity of the marketing mix brand managers must navigate in order to execute successful campaigns.

Interestingly, not a great deal has been written about how the consumer experience has changed. Think about what you do at home during your down time. Chances are you're watching your favorite television programs and fast-forwarding through the commercials (you recorded the shows with your DVR), checking multiple email accounts on your laptop (your personal Yahoo account and your work email), sporadically surfing the Web, answering an IM or two, and fielding messages from friends and work associates on your mobile device.

Recent studies confirm that we've become multitasking media mavens. BIGresearch released a report earlier this year that found simultaneous media consumption for online, newspapers, magazines, radio, TV and direct mail has risen 34% in the past year alone. Another study by Grunwald Associates conducted in early 2008 found this trend even more prevalent among kids and teens. Sixty-four percent of the 9-17-year olds surveyed said they went online while watching television. The study also found that the percentage of children and teens who used email or sent instant messaging while watching TV nearly doubled since 2002 when Grunwald last conducted the survey.



Looking at it from this perspective helps clear away the confusion and anxiety as to what brand marketers must do. They need to support their mass media advertising approach, which has been diluted by consumers' fragmented media consumption, by building direct relationships with their customers. Working with an online lead generation partner is a good way to achieve this level of granular one-to-one marketing.

Online lead generation partners help brand marketers build highly targeted "house lists" of pre-qualified consumers who have expressed an interest in specific brands, products and services and have requested to be marketed to. The house email list (versus purchased lists) continues to be among the top performing online marketing tactics for building long-term profitable relationships with individual consumers. Recent consumer data shows that consumers want to hear from their preferred brands, especially through e-newsletters.

The majority of respondents to our 2007 Consumer Packaged Good poll said that they favored e-newletters for special offers, promotions, discounts and information about household products. Online resources and e-newsletters also prove to be valuable and trusted resources for consumers seeking pharmaceutical drug treatment information. Seventy-nine percent surveyed said they use the Internet to research ailment or drug treatment information, and 68% said they would sign up for an email newsletter to learn more about drug treatments or how to treat a specific ailment (our 2007 Pharmaceutical Online Resources poll).

As this and other research data demonstrate, consumers of all ages, demographics and profiles are spending more time online and lead generation providers help brand marketers identify these valuable consumers through multi-channel online lead generation campaigns. This involves a media plan using an integrated mix of online channels, including online communities for consumer promotions and savings. Lead generation providers also help brand marketers reach consumers through a network of top-tier Web publishers, ranging from popular Web portals and news sites to niche social networking sites comprised of consumers sharing similar interests and preferences.

Consumers online can be engaged with online coupons and special offers from their favorite brands, in addition to informative e-newsletters for ongoing communications and product updates. Online polls are also entertaining approaches for engaging consumers and to learn more about what they want from their preferred brands and products.

In today's multimedia world, the benefits of online lead generation are twofold. One -- consumers of all ages are increasingly spending more time online shopping and researching brands and products, so you reach a highly engaged audience. Two - unlike mass market advertising, online channels enable brand marketers to identify and engage with only those consumers who have requested to be marketed to, so you cut through the clutter and multitasking, and build close relationships with the most valuable consumers for your brand.

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