Rely on Time-Tested Strategies During the New Normal
posted December 3, 2020

Last week, I came across a recently released panel-based study from Comcast Cable’s sales division, Effectv, and MediaScience. The study was built to determine if there was an improvement in ad effectiveness and brand performance when TV and digital were paired together. I wasn’t surprised when I read that when viewers were exposed to ads on both TV and digital, versus digital only, viewers spent three times more time with ads, and their brand recall more than doubled. And, TV-plus-digital also drove a 15% lift in purchase intent. My initial reaction was a bit cynical and unfair since I chalked the study up as research simply conducted to help with sales efforts. Then, when thinking about the world we live in, I had a change of heart and opinion.

Like so many other business categories, the casino industry has been slammed by COVID-19. Shutdowns have led to revenue declines, which have affected marketing and advertising budgets. Upon reopening, there is a desire for a higher impression reach at a cheaper cost to get the message out and get players back on the floor. It’s not a bad approach to do more with less, because efficiency is good; but this is not a sound media strategy either. Cheap impressions do not equal quality impressions, because not all media impressions carry the same weight. Simply because you can measure that your ad was served up and generated an ad impression, doesn’t mean it carried the impact needed to break through the creative and messaging clutter.

We live in a world where consumers don’t engage with just one media tactic; they use multiple tactics throughout the day. And the combined use and efficacy of multiple tactics creates a bigger impact on the consumer. When we engage consumers at the right time, in the right place, with the right message (and with the right media mix), the message will break through the clutter and drive more brand engagement and purchase intent. The secret sauce is finding the right media mix by using an integrated media approach.

Despite the upheaval caused by COVID-19, that strategy rings truer than ever. Consumer behavior, as well as the media market, has changed dramatically in the last six months, and marketers find themselves wondering what to do in this “new normal.” One thing that hasn’t changed is the reality that we live in an age of continual connection. An always-on virtual tether to all the content in the world rests in the palm of our hand. Our “smart” televisions offer us seemingly unlimited content options as well. So, from a media standpoint, it is more important than ever to engage the consumer with messaging, when and where they consume content. So, where do we start?

The first thing to do is to take a look at your database. Who has (and has not) returned to your casino? Where are they located? Where are the areas of opportunity for you to bring back lapsed players, and where can you generate incremental visits? Then, think of what is most important to you when it comes to messaging and what budgetary limitations you are up against. What is it you want to achieve? What are your goals? Of course, increased revenue is of primary importance, but think more granularly. What key performance indicators would you expect to see moving to show you are on the right path? By following current media trends, you can build a media approach that ties back into your marketing objectives. Use the appropriate media tactics that meet your needs. Who is it you want to reach? Do you need a high reach of message, or efficient frequency? Perhaps both? Where are your primary geographies that you need covered? It is important to realize that each media tactic performs differently (and of course costs differently). It is equally important to understand that multiple media tactics working together will likely have more impact than using specific tactics alone.

Despite all the changes we are experiencing on a daily basis, an integrated approach is still the best bet to achieve the campaign results you want. And in a media marketplace where usage of digital tactics and linear TV is on the rise, the use of both TV and digital together may very well increase time spent with the messaging, improve brand recall, and lift purchase intent. To inundate the market with “cheap” ad impressions alone is a cop-out. We don’t have the time or budget to throw everything against the wall to see what sticks. Now is the time to adapt and overcome. Now is the time to rearrange this marketing and advertising puzzle until you get a media answer that is targeted, measurable, and efficient. It will be worth your time and effort, and you will be well on your way to navigating this “new normal.” If you don’t want to go it alone, reach out to Red Circle for more information on how we can help you navigate these uncharted waters.