Collaboration is King
Traditional ways of communicating with consumers are no longer effective because technology
has changed the game for consumers and for communication specialists.
The shift from bought to owned media is having a powerful influence over the way brands
communicate with audiences. Marketing budgets are increasing, however bought media’s share of
the budget is decreasing as more funds are directed to earned media and the creation of owned
media assets. For communication specialists, this means that we can’t keep on doing things the
way we used to and expect the same result.
As the investment in owned assets continues, there will be a greater emphasis on these to deliver
a financial return beyond sales and advertising efficiencies. Marketers will need to ensure they are
not only creating the right assets from which to connect with audiences, but are also extracting
maximum revenue from assets such as websites, blogs and newsletters.
This change will lead to brands becoming the “new-media channels” of the future, through which
other related brands can connect with people.
Communication specialists need to draw on all consumer touch points to provide a wrap-around brand experience
Communications and media agencies must work together to transform a brand into a consumer
experience that is relevant, desirable and shared. There is a handful of businesses that are leading
the way, including Sonder, the world’s first owned media specialist which extracts value out of
dormant, owned assets. For client, George Weston Foods, Sonder unlocked the power of their
bread packaging, a previously untapped asset that produces over 17 million units per month. This
is a mass medium, comparable to Seven West Media’s reach of 16 million people. Leveraged, the
asset has a total commercial potential of $8 million per annum.
In today’s digital world people freely connect and share personal data in a highly transparent way.
To maximise engagement we need to design activities that are interconnected, it’s no longer good
enough to simply acknowledge the importance of Paid, Owned and Earned we need to plan them
Using data and insights to understand the savvy consumer
The range of traditional and digital platforms and 24 / 7 accessibility has created an ever growing
need for content. This has led to an abundance of information being directed to consumers via
multiple channels and devices.
At the same time, consumers are more empowered in how and when they choose to engage a
brand. They have access to a range of devices which they use, often simultaneously, to access
Today, there is a wealth of data that enables us to understand our target audience – who they are,
what they do, when they do it and why they do it. Consumer data can be gleaned from client
databases, loyalty programs, existing research or by entering into data partnerships with other
We need to leverage all available data to accurately define our target audience. Only then can we
create an experience that is relevant and valuable from their perspective.
Traditionally, media has adopted a shotgun approach, spraying people with advertisements in the
hope that they will reach their desired audience at a time when they are receptive. But by
leveraging the data we have at our disposal we can adopt a rifle approach that is more targeted
The rise of skippable ad units, ad blockers, catch up TV and more shrewd consumers lead to less
frequent and less effective traditional advertising.
Creating content the consumer wants
The best content is content that people search for. It must resonate with the audience to create
an experience that is valuable, have a purpose and be interesting or useful. What makes
something content as opposed to traditional advertising, is that people choose to interact with it.
By understanding this and producing content that is intelligently amplified, we can ensure a
brand’s message reaches the right person. The Bastion Collective delivered a campaign for Ice
Break around Bathurst to extend and leverage their sponsorship of Super Black Racing team
driver, Chris Pither, while building brand relevancy for their key growth market – men aged 18 –
The campaign delivered over 2 million social media impressions across two days for Ice Break, with
an outstanding 4.68% engagement rate across Instagram and Facebook.
Smart amplification is about pinpointing the relevant audiences (particularly their online location
and movements) and identifying how to best target them at a time that is most relevant for them.
Consumers are no longer passive consumers of information, rather they expect to be active
participants. Consumers today want content that is tailored to their preferences and lifestyles.
The future of communications is about facilitating an ongoing conversation, being relevant and
authentic, creating shareable brand experiences, and harnessing innovative technologies to enable
smarter distribution across multiple channels. This can only be achieved by media and
communications agencies working together to create an integrated approach.