Media Redefined: Grey’s the answer when looking for B&W solutions
by Martin MacGregor (@MartMacG) I recently went to a procurement workshop; I’ve an innate interest in trying to understand how things work and so it felt completely logical to spend time unpacking the unsexy side of marketing. It was a surprisingly enlightening experience and I walked away much better-educated on why procurement departments are necessary in our world. But it also highlighted the virtuous circle of most advertising conversations these days.
In summary, there are normally three arguments put forward:
- Without a big idea, brands are spewing out nothing more than bland landfill.
- If the advertising doesn’t result in sales, what’s the point?
- Success is when the lowest-possible cost is achieved.
Yes, I have sat in meetings where creative, marketing and procurement have all passionately argued their corner with no compromise. The result is usually that one side “wins” and consumers either see a bloated TV ad, a brand cheapening discount ad or they don’t see the ad at all.
In a world, where we are constantly looking for black-and-white solutions, the answer here is grey — wonderfully grey. That’s because they are all correct and every campaign should have those three arguments as primary objectives.
Brands need investment and the currency of brand equity is big ideas that stick. Any brand that is not investing in itself will fail. The proof is everywhere.
If the big idea can’t translate into converting the consumer at point of sale, then it’s not very big at all. Consumers may now be reached in so many different ways and big ideas need thousands of iterations to work — and there is no justification for some of those not actually closing the deal..
Getting enough brand and audience behaviour data is no longer the issue — it’s what you do with it that counts. If used correctly, it should mean being able to pinpoint the right consumer at the right time or place. This highly valuable consumer should be reached at the lowest-possible cost — but that negotiation is much easier when wastage has been eliminated.
It’s very simple: big ideas, that actually sell, reaching a relevant consumer, relatively cheaply.
My Twitter feed is full of non-negotiable opinions. Maybe it’s the age of Trump but it feels as if everyone’s become a bit blinkered in their outlook. Let’s remember that, sometimes, there’s nothing wrong with some grey.
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.