The right time and place for a brand message

Jun 28 2011, 07:03 IST
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SummaryThe Erie County Holding Centre in Buffalo, USA has found a new way to finance itself—through advertisements featuring defense lawyers and bail bondsmen beamed to its inmates on a giant screen!

The Erie County Holding Centre in Buffalo, USA has found a new way to finance itself—through advertisements featuring defense lawyers and bail bondsmen beamed to its inmates on a giant screen! People in the Holding Centre don’t want to get convicted and they want an attorney. The key to effective advertising is to reach consumers at the moment they make their purchase decision. Adverts like these that are being shown at the right time and place are perfect.

‘In jail advertising’ is just one example of right time right place advertising. Advertisers and marketers have always known the power of timing. The STAS effect measures established without doubt that there is a close link between when a brand advertises and its impact on the purchase in the immediate period following the communication.

FMCG (fast moving consumer goods) brands have typically spent closer to the end or beginning of the month and on POS (point of sale) to get sales traction. Consumer durables have focused media spends towards festivals and other auspicious seasons. The role for spot deals, offers and point of sale nudging has always been important. But that is how far it got and spends on right time, right place consumer contact were always a smaller percentage of the overall marketing spend in most categories. Three key trends are now poised to create a mini explosion in right time, right place communication.

Trend No. 1 - Consumer on wheels

Consumers across India and the world are now constantly on the go. The growing wealth and social time means they take many more purchase decisions on the run and ‘under the influence of friends’. There is no influence of TV or print. These kinds of impulse decisions are now being made for amounts in tens of thousands and for products and brands which are not necessarily food, drink or from the classic impulse purchase categories. There is a whole host of new categories, including reasonably expensive consumer durables, where decisions are now made at the blink of an eyelid. Location and time sensitive targeting of communication messages which can touch these ‘consumers on wheels’ closer to the point of decision are just bound to grow bigger.

Trend No. 2 - Brand Clutter

We are experiencing an explosion of consumer choice. There are hundreds of soap brands and scores of insurance brands vying for attention. Their offerings are hardly different from each other - real

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