Media Redefined: Touchpoint strategy — cast, bait, catch, eat
by Martin MacGregor (@MartMacG) I hate fishing. It’s a pity, as I love eating anything from the sea, but a combination of a low boredom threshold and almost guaranteed seasickness has made it a no-go zone for me. Sitting and waiting isn’t something I do well. Feeling nauseous while I’m doing it? Count me out. Ironically, touchpoint strategy — which is what I do — is exactly like fishing and I often draw the parallels.
Cast, bait, catch, eat
To succeed requires a very similar and simple four-step approach: Cast, bait, catch, eat.
Casting is speculative by definition. You know the patch of water that you aim for has some potential but, really, it’s guesswork.
This is the case with a lot of broadcast media buys across TV, out of home (OOH), radio, print and, to be honest, a lot of online media as well. You have an idea of the target market, and generally play it safe and make it as broad as possible. But, in reality, you have little idea of what’s below the water.
If casting were the only strategy, a lot of time would be required; so it is with building awareness over time but we all know how impatient the finance department gets with this.
Fishermen are cleverer than that. They think about what it is that the fish are actually attracted to, and that bait is carefully selected.
Understanding what consumers like gives the messaging context. This may be anything from sponsoring the content consumers love to making sure messaging is in their most-watched programmes. This provides the key ingredient of relevance. Fish aren’t interested in the hook; they want the bait. Is there a reason Absa hangs around soccer and Klipdrift hangs around rugby? Of course.
All things being equal, the fish bites. But, as all fishermen know, the real art of what they’re doing has only just begun. Converting that nibble into a catch requires every bit of their skill and experience.
It’s scary how many marketing departments feel that their job stops here. Bringing in that fish is just not part of their remit.
The consumer is now in your store, chatting with your call centre, on your website, interacting on your social media pages. How these touchpoints are constructed, how efficiently they work, the clarity of messaging and the simplicity of the process are fundamental to converting an interest into a sale. Whereas, in the past, the tools to achieve this were basic, blunt and limited, data and sophisticated digital platforms have armed marketers with something much smarter — fishing rods are no longer just a stick and some line.
Finally, the fish is flip-flopping in the bottom of the boat. But it is not the finished product. A tasty fish requires care and creativity so that every single possible flavour is brought out.
Ensuring a loyal customer who truly loves your brand means a similar amount of care must be taken. Dealing one-on-one with this very special person is a fine art and thinking like a gourmet chef will certainly help.
Banks do this well, especially to their most-important customers. Invites to relevant events, market-related opinions in newsletters and business-class lounge access all keep you in their world and loyal. Mass-consumer goods find it more problematic as the opportunities are less. Data and digital platforms are helping solve this as retargeting becomes more and more of a possibility, serving relevant messaging to loyal consumers.
Putting together a touchpoint strategy is simple. Think fishing and make sure you are casting in the right place, using tasty bait, have fine-tuned how you reel customers in and, once landed, be very caring to bring out every one of those flavours. Enjoy!
Martin MacGregor (@MartMacG) is managing director of Connect, an M&C Saatchi Company, with offices in Johannesburg and Cape Town. Martin has spent 18 years in the industry, and has previously worked at Ogilvy and was MD of MEC Nota Bene in Cape Town. He contributes the monthly “Media Redefined” column, in which he challenges norms in the media space, to MarkLives.com.
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