Everything used to be clearer. Working in ad agencies for almost 15 years I used to recite the rules of creating a successful brand, You know, the 65% reach with +3 frequency media buying schemes. The most well-known brands we all know and love were built this way. But something has changed, New brands are forming all around us with minimal or no TV ads at all. The emerging start-ups scene and unicorns have caught the traditional marketers off-guard. The Dollar shave clubs, Caspers and Ubers of the world are growing brands that focus most of their efforts mostly on performance marketing and yet it seems like they established decent brands.
So what happened?
The way I see it 2 major trends have been affecting how brands formed:
1. Consumer’s attention span is dropping
2. Machine learning media buying algorithms
Let’s try to break it down a bit.
Loyalty is a rarity. With so many messages from so many platforms around us, our ability to even process an ad, be it the most well-crafted, brilliantly written, is just super limited. We are bombarded with marketing messages all over and our ability to find the cognitive or emotional processing power is just impossible.
Consumers have to become quicker with their decision and preferences is based usually on a single comparative benefit of a product — thus making loyalty a very weird concept. If I had to take it to the extreme, you will often see consumers prefer a less reliable service (Let’s say hailing app) that has a strong comparable benefit (Taxi in less than a minute) than a more trust-worthy service that will take longer.
The sole concept of trust is changing — It has become a simple equation of “What’s in it for me” minus “What am I risking and giving up?”.
Actually, performance marketers are cracking this new trend with ads that are over simplified and super easy to digest with low attention span.
The sad truth is that in order to create an emotional connection with a consumer you will require more and more media and higher frequencies of repetition and this ratio is growing exponentially. This is also the main reason traditional brands are bleeding money while ROI is being worn-out.
The digital media age brought a lot of platforms that knows more about consumers than any other planner or research institute. While we sit in meeting rooms defining our audience as Female, 18–35 with mid-income, the world of algorithms is thinking in terms of “The girl that click on ads with cats at 8am but has her credit card available for purchases only on her iPad at 7.30pm while she listens to country music on Spotify with her Bose headphones”
Now, you might think I’m taking it to the extreme but it couldn’t be further from the truth. Those algorithms are killing it. When you come to think of it, this is the currencies the Google, Facebook and Twitters of the world is using. They want their users to come back over and over again, therefore they must stay relevant when it comes to content and ads as well.
So by simply seeking for opportunistic growth, the new brands have actually let those algorithms find their core target audience thus causing rapid instant growth even when competing in a condensed and full market.
These are two of the main factors I observed that led me to develop the Quantum brands working methodology. I would share more in the near future and I invite you to join this journey that was referred to by leading CMOs as an “earthquake” in the way we do marketing. You are more than welcome to contact me through QuantumBrands.co or join my mailing list for further updates on the development of this new approach to marketing in a machine learning environment.