Monday, January 10, 2011

In An Advanced Stage Of Readiness To Buy

The hoopla of 2011 planning is almost over, and the title of this entry is forever ingrained in my memory. It's the constant one liner our marketing consultant loves to use over and over again, and despite the fact that that single line has caused so many revisions to my plans for the brands I'm in charge of, I must say its the perfect take-off point of my campaign.

In a country that's drowning in mass media advertising; where major thoroughfares are flooded with giant billboards after another and wifi access bombards the regular surfer with multiple online ads, talking directly to the end-user who's practically a hop, skip and jump away from buying your product may be key in pushing you further apart from competitors and closer to profitability.

Imagine you're the brand man of a tampon. For 2011, you're asked to break the stereotype that using tampons hurt and you've only got a hundred thousand in your budget to make that happen. A print ad in a glossy teeny-bopper magazine can amount to P100,000 here in the Philippines. That magazine can have a distribution rate of, say 50,000 copies, with pass-on readership on 5. That assumes you'll be hitting 250,000 individuals without the assurance of a purchase. You were able to communicate your message in the ad but how many from the 250k hitrate were you really able to convince?

Say you go the guerilla way and use that same P100,000 by giving away tampon samples in universities or call center offices. You get to induce trial of your product, and have direct interaction with a possible buyer. Then you point out the stores you're available in within a 5-minute walk radius. The university student and the call center agent would have the open-enough mind to readily accept your product, and at the same time, you reel them closer to the sale by showing them where to buy!

Promotion can't be about awareness and credibility all the time. And being present in tri-media advertising doesn't prove you're credible or that your market is aware. Sometimes, it's just one giant waste of untrackable spending.

So why is it that so many FMCG corporations still go for the print ad, the TVC and general online advertising? Has it become the simple and easy, but expensive, cop-out? Is tri-media somehow related to credibility to consumers?

Thankfully for the brands I'm taking care of, that isn't the case. Being niche products that talk and carter to a very specific market, giving up most Above-The-Line efforts was a no-brainer. My driving force now is to talk to the end-user who is in the most advanced stage of readiness to buy. Now, since avenues of point of purchase is covered, the name of the game will be creativity. How, in that venue of readiness, do I induce the sale and somehow keep hold for loyalty?

Guess that can be another entry for another day. Planning now almost 100% finalized. 2011 is looking mighty good.

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