Media Fragmentation Presents Opportunity For Marketers

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The ever-increasing number of media channels presents an opportunity for marketers to differentiate how they mix and play the media, according to a recent study from Connected Life by TNS, the world’s largest custom market research organisation.

This observation throws cold water on the notion that media fragmentation is one of the biggest brand challenges of the digital age. Media fragmentation is the industry buzz phrase to describe the broad spread of media channels on-line, off-line, on-broadcast (TV) and on-air (Radio).

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“Media fragmentation has been labelled one of the primary challenges facing marketers today, when creating and deploying effective marketing communications campaigns.

Stephen Hillebrand, CEO TNS Middle East
Stephen Hillebrand, CEO TNS Middle East

“However, our recent research suggests otherwise. The study cites that multi channels across multi mediums provides media teams a wonderful opportunity to integrate messages in targeted, compelling ways that can lead to tangible audience engagement,” according to Stephen Hillebrand, CEO, Middle East.

Hillebrand was referring to TNS’s latest Connected Life study which tracked more than 55,000 internet users across 50 countries to understand their digital attitudes and behaviours and how technology is transforming their lives, suggesting that the study offers ‘an essential insight into the impact of the growing digital ecosystem on the media landscape, uncovering new opportunities for marketers to connect with consumers in this increasingly complex environment.’

Traditional is still influential

“Mobile is the main access point for all age groups, however UAE-based marketers must bear in mind that traditional media consumption is still a regular occurrence nationwide, compared to many global markets,” Hillebrand said.

He noted that 94 per cent of UAE residents watch TV programmes on a weekly basis compared to 88 per cent, worldwide.

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“It is interesting to note that although consumers spend up to five hours on a personal device – mobile, tablet or PC – each day, TV remains a significant media with average viewership exceeding more than two hours daily.”

The occasion-based marketing opportunity

He said that the leveraging of multiple platforms is not the only issue that marketers need to address: A layered, hour-by-hour, multi-channel, multi-media strategy is also essential, as media consumption habits change during the course of the day.

Indeed, mobile devices whip up 47 per cent usage in the morning and stay pretty consistent throughout the day, traditional media, like radio, newspaper and magazines have their widest reach in the morning.

Meanwhile, he said that the study shows that tablets, PC and laptops take over in the afternoon with TV peaking in the early to late evening, claiming up to 33 per cent usage.

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The Connected Life study suggests that internet users in the UAE are very active communicators via Instant Messaging, email, and video/voice calls.  Facebook and YouTube the top contenders, but it is the new-kid on the new-kid-block, WhatsApp named as the most favoured communication platform.

“It is essential that social networking platforms be included in serious marketing campaigns as they have fast-secured the strongest and most consistent reach. Indeed, mobile has emerged as the main access point across all age groups, and users can be reached via social sites throughout the day.”

He mooted that occasion-based contextual targeting provides a sound opportunity for UAE-based marketers to ‘speak direct and directly’, with the study confirming there is no cookie-cutter approach to marketing communications today.

“Occasion-based marketing paves the way for the character of a brand or product to emerge, touch and speak to the individual, in their personal space.

“However, we must be mindful that digital plays a different role, depending on the user segment. We must always be ready to go deeper to ensure that the right message lands well and that individual needs are met, and responded to,” Hillebrand concluded.

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