Webinar – Global Ambition Think Big, Think Small hosted by Galway Technology Centre

Join our CEO Fergal O’Connor as he speaks at the Galway Technology Centre’s Global Ambition: Think Big, Think Small Webinar that was hosted on November 12th 2020. Fergal discusses how businesses with ‘Global Ambition’ can make better advertising decisions by using buyer persona’s and marketing insights.

To learn more about how we can help with your media planning and buying, please contact Rebecca at production@buymediahq.com

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Buymedia named in Business Post Hot 100 Startups

“Buymedia is an online marketplace which disrupts the traditional process by which media is bought and sold. It helps new and existing media companies attract new advertisers by offering a platform where they can showcase their media and advertising options, and allows SMEs compete with global brands. 

Buymedia’s technology uses customer insights to identify the best customers for businesses to target. With these customers identified the Buymedia platform creates a detailed media map to guide businesses towards the best advertising options across all media: print, radio, TV, outdoor, social and digital,” founder Fergal O’Connor says. 

With new offices just opened in Galway, and a team of 12, expansion into Britain and building a team will be the focus for the next few months”

Business Post Hot 100 Start Ups November 15th

A copy of the Hot 100 is available here

Continue Reading Buymedia named in Business Post Hot 100 Startups

Points to consider before paying for advertising

As part of our Boost My Business initiative Fiona Alston spoke to Fergal O'Connor, CEO of Buymedia about paid advertising for SMEs.
As part of our Boost My Business initiative Fiona Alston spoke to Fergal O’Connor, CEO of Buymedia about paid advertising for SMEs.


As part of RTE’s Boost My Business initiative Fiona Alston spoke to Fergal O’Connor, CEO of Buymedia about paid advertising for SMEs.

Buymedia is a platform which helps SMEs compete with larger brands when trying to advertise. Using AI and machine learning the platform, which is free to use, helps determine the best advertising strategy for your business within your budget.

Whether you decide to get help with you advertising or fly solo O’Connor has the following tips to help navigate the advertising landscape.

Plan your advertising – the biggest mistake businesses make with advertising is they jump into purchasing advertising before planning it out. Paid advertising is not an instant solution to a drop in sales – think it out and plan ahead.

Make sure you know who your ideal customers are, who will bring in the most value to you? Right down to the smallest of details – imagine you know them – their name, where they live, what car would they drive, what they do for a living? What are their hobbies? Know who you are trying to target.

Learn from your advertising – have you been down this road before and ask honestly, was it really a good return on investment?

Which media channels do you want to use? – This will largely depend on your budget – research shows that the media channels with you get a better return on your investment rank in this order (research from Ebiquity)


2 Radio

3= Newspapers

3= Magazines

5 Online Video

6 Direct Mail

7 Social Media (paid)

8 Online Display

9 Out of Home

10 Cinema

Research audiences – Make sure you research the audience of each media title – the headline figures don’t always tell you the exact picture. For example, radio would be considered an older audience but if you are looking to target a younger audience this can still be done by looking into Spin 103.8 in Dublin, Beat radio in the South East, or Live 95 in Limerick.

Also, on the topic of radio, local radio stations can be useful and affordable advertising – very popular with listeners outside the Leinster area.

Brand Safety – brand safety is becoming more and more important as new mediums crop up. It is important that you know where your advert is going or rather where it is not going to end up. Don’t get in a situation where your advert is stuck in the middle of a negative article or something that your brand does not stand for. Make sure you have a list of words and subjects you do not want associated with.

O’Connor recommends using trusted brands like RTÉ.ie, Irish Times, independent.ie, image.ie and Evoke to give you peace of mind that your brand will be protected.

Use an integrated advertising campaign – getting a similar campaign rolling across different types of media gives you the biggest return on investment. Research done by Buymedia shows that by doing a five channel strategy, you increase the return on investment by 25%. You are not spending any more that your budget allows, you are just spending it more wisely by integrating it across five platforms.

Newspapers are alive and kicking – Sales of print and digital subscriptions have risen this year over lockdown. The biggest age groups of print newspaper readers are an older audience in the over 55 categories with the main readership being 65+. The gender breakdown is 54.4% male and 45.6% female and they are good for advertising financial services, hospitality and recruitment.

Don’t rule out newspaper advertising, while the print version maybe skewed towards an older audience, the online version and apps are more focused to a younger audience – if you were to go to a media group for your advertising you could hit a broader audience by combining print, magazine, online and mobile devices giving you far more opportunities.

Utilise LinkedIn for B2B – the number one social media channel Buymedia refers for business is LinkedIn, it gets the best response.

Don’t forget about You Tube – You Tube is proving hugely effective at the moment. The great thing about it is that it can be done at a relatively low budget. You don’t have to have huge production quality in the video to do a YouTube ad. Also, after Google, people go to YouTube to search for stuff so it’s a powerful medium online at the moment.

Out of home advertising/billboard advertising – growing increasingly and with the addition of IoT these boards can direct their advertising depending on the weather or even people’s humour. But unfortunately, this year it depends heavily on the lockdowns. If people are locked up in their homes your advertising budget is wasted.

Cinema is a no show – Ireland loves radio and cinema more, ahead of any other European countries. While cinema attracts a younger audience until the situation with Covid improves drastically then this is not a worthwhile avenue to explore.

To read the full Article – https://www.rte.ie/news/boost-my-business/2020/1114/1178182-points-to-consider-before-paying-for-advertising/

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A Pro’s Guide to Managing Integrated Marketing Campaigns

HubSpot describes integrated marketing as,

“the process of arranging your different marketing channels to work in tandem to promote your products or services, typically through a strategic campaign”

 From a B2B perspective, integrated marketing campaigns don’t only include your inbound or digital channels, but also traditional channels like print, radio, and TV, as well as buyer personas and the touch points at each stage of their journey.

All these moving pieces made it hard to achieve a seamless customer experience through an integrated marketing campaign ……….until now.

The following 7 step guide will enable your team to develop a stronger integrated marketing campaign for greater future results.

  1. Define Overarching Campaign Goals

Before considering the channels that will be part of your integrated marketing campaign, you must define the overall goal of the campaign. These should be SMART goals so they help you stay focused, track success effectively, and learn where you can improve for next time.

Here are a few examples of categories your goals can be based on:

  • Customer Types (Personas, Target Accounts)
  • Budget
  • Marketing-Qualified Leads (MQL)
  • Sales-Qualified Leads (SQL)
  • Closed-Won Deals

Once you know who you’re targeting and have your goals set, you’re one step closer to successfully implementing a seamless integrated marketing campaign. Take a moment to map out how you want your campaign to impact your bottom line, too.

2. Know Your Target Accounts and Personas

If you haven’t taken time to create your buyer persona profiles, there’s no time like the present! Here are the questions you should be answering to really understand who your business is targeting.

  1. What’s their job title?
  2. What industry are they in?
  3. What’s their education level?
  4. How many employees are in their business?
  5. What are their individual, team and professional goals?
  6. What challenges do they currently face?
  7. What are their common objections?
  8. How is their professional success measured?
  9. Small demographic profile (age, gender, lifestyle type)

Or better again, let us do it by giving us a quick summary of your target audience here and we’ll send back your completed buyer persona along with a media map that details what channels they consume and where your message will be best received.

3. Make Sure You Have a Strong Team

Each integrated marketing campaign requires the use of technology and processes, but it all begins with people, therefore it is vital that each campaign has a strong leader that can orchestrate the process. If there is a certain area you need additional support in whether that is lack of manpower, lack of budget to hire internally, lack of expertise, need for training or strategic guidance, you should consider outsourcing part of your campaign.

Maybe you need a consultant to guide the process. You might need artwork created but don’t have the need for a full-time internal designer so you might consider a contractor. Or maybe you need someone to guide your media planning and help you get some of the best rates available for advertising (hint hint, that’s us).

Whatever your need is, if your internal team doesn’t have it, don’t think it’s not possible to do it, you just have to be clever about the way your team is structured.

4. Choosing the Correct Marketing Channels

Integrated marketing campaigns involve a number of channels and it is vital that as a marketer, you understand the media channels and titles your persona is consuming.

There are two ways to do this, the wrong way which is to go off what you feel will work or what was previously done in the company. Or you can choose the right way which is to make educated marketing decisions based on what data and insights are telling you about your buyer persona, we like to also call this the Buymedia way.

The channels that will work best for you will vary depending on the industry, brand, personas, and other external factors, and what worked this time last year may not work this time next year because consumer habits are constantly changing and it is extremely difficult to keep up to date with these changes.

Be sure that your plan includes decisions that are data driven because this could greatly impact the success of your integrated marketing campaign.

5. Deliver a Consistent Brand Experience

The more consistency you achieve with design, tone, messaging, and themes of your integrated marketing campaign, the better it will be. Brand consistency allows for all communication to align so that no matter what channel it is consumed, the same message is received.

To deliver a consistent brand experience, consider including the below documents:

  1. Visual brand guidelines
  2. Brand voice guidelines
  3. Brand messaging guidelines
  4. Buyer persona profiles
  5. Map of the buyer’s journey

All these documents form the bible for team members and external contractors involved in your integrated marketing campaign, so it is important to make sure they are accessible and maintained.

6. Create a Lead Nurturing Plan

Once you launch your campaign and leads are rolling in, what are you going to do with them? What is your plan for processing, routing, qualifying, and nurturing new leads? This should not be an afterthought once you’ve launched your campaign, but instead should be incorporated into the planning.

To provide a seamless transition, messaging in your lead nurturing plan should be consistent with the campaign messaging. Follow up emails can help to continue sharing value while also building trust and it is a good idea to make sure this process is automated. Marketo describes marketing automation is as “a key technology that streamlines, automates, and measures marketing tasks and workflows to help you save time and money”. It can reduce the manual element and let your team focus on other tasks. Marketing automation is a vital component to ensuring a successful lead nurturing plan.

7. Monitor, Learn & Repeat

When the campaign is launched and the team is busy following up on leads, it is important to take a step back and look at the performance at every stage of the funnel. Integrated marketers can understand their campaign and businesses health when they have a full view of the funnel and from here, they can adjust the campaign accordingly, whether that is increasing budget for syndication, or improving lead nurturing workflows.

Measurement and optimisation should be constant and using the correct technologies and processes, marketers can have a comprehensive view of every stage of the process and from here take learnings for the next integrated marketing campaign.

Final Thoughts for Successful Integrated Marketing Campaigns

While implementing an integrated marketing campaign can be difficult, a lot of the guesswork can be taken out of the process. Once you define your goals and persona, your team and/or external contractors can use data and insights to make educated decisions on the channels that will target your market best. Creating a consistent brand experience throughout the campaign and nurturing plan will help add value to the lead and give them a clear brand message. Monitoring each stage of the process and taking the findings into consideration in the next integrated marketing campaign will help you bring stronger campaigns that will help you achieve your goals.

Don’t forget to check out our persona builder request form where we’ll supply a full media map for your target buyer persona.

Continue Reading A Pro’s Guide to Managing Integrated Marketing Campaigns

Case Study – Fast Food Retail and Spotify

The best CTR we've seen in a very long time


One of Ireland’s largest and fastest-growing fast food restaurant groups, were looking for a media mix that was data driven and based on very specific ‘ice cream loving’ personas.

The clients’ marketing team gave a media brief –  who they were targeting, their campaign objectives and budget.


Using these insights the Buymedia marketing team built a persona through the Buymedia platform that tightly aligned with the target customer.

The Buymedia software then media mapped this customer against over 600 media titles to find the most popular media with the target customer. The software algorithm then calculated the media effectiveness score to give the client an ideal media shopping list to meet their advertising objectives. The list included TV, Radio, OOH, Print, Social and Digital media titles.

One option that ranked particularly highly for this specific target audience was Spotify. It was a media option that hadn’t been used before by this client but the Buymedia data gave a strong indication that this was a popular media choice amongst the target audience.

The media effectiveness scores across all media were used to allocate budget most efficiently and the media plan was approved and implemented through the Buymedia platform.


While across the board the results of the campaign delivered for the client there was one particular encouraging piece of data. The result from Spotify outperformed the industry average CTR but specifically amongst the 18 year olds. With Spotify saying “this is the best CTR we’ve seen in a very long time”.

A great result for our client – we love it when a plan comes together.

To find out if your business is missing opportunities to grow through more effective advertising contact Buymedia today – hello@buymediahq.com.

Continue Reading Case Study – Fast Food Retail and Spotify

2020 Media Insights Report Northern Ireland (Download)

Ofcom’s annual Northern Ireland Media Nations report looks at the viewing and listening habits of people in NI. The report is based on data from broadcasters, along with research into audience habits. You can download the full report by clicking the Download Report button above but if you don’t have time to read the full report you can see the top line figures below. We’ve summarised them so you don’t have to, we’re good like that.

People in Northern Ireland watched less broadcast TV than those in any other UK nation.
On average, people in Northern Ireland spend 3 hours 5 minutes per day watching broadcast television on the TV set.
Daily viewing in Northern Ireland declined by 6.9% between 2017 and 2018.
Viewing of non-broadcast services on the TV set (such as streaming services like Netflix and Amazon Prime Video, or gaming) increased by five minutes a day to an average of 42 minutes per person per day in 2018.

Over-54s watch four times more TV than children.
As in the rest of the UK, older age groups watch the most broadcast TV in Northern Ireland (those aged 55+ watch 5 hours 4 minutes on average a day) and children the least (1 hour 13 minutes).

Two-thirds of TV households have a television set connected to the internet.
More than two-thirds (67%) of households in Northern Ireland had some form of connected TV in 2019, 57% in England, 56% in Scotland and 48% in Wales.

Use of streaming services is growing.
Just over half of adults in Northern Ireland (53%) said they used an on-demand/streaming service in 2019. Among these services, Netflix had the most claimed use (41%), followed by BBC iPlayer (23%), All4 and ITV Hub (21% and 20% respectively). Paying for on-demand content does not appear to be a deterrent; nearly half (46.1%) of all households in Northern Ireland had a paid-for subscription-on-demand service (SVoD) in Q1 2019.

There are some major new streaming services due to be launched soon – including Apple TV+ and Disney+ which could push this percentage up higher. However, more than half of all broadcast TV viewing in Northern Ireland in 2018 was to the main Public Service Broadcasting channels, so the traditional channels are still going strong.

TV is still the most popular news-source.
Television remains the most-used platform for news consumption for people in Northern Ireland, with UTV and BBC One being the most-used news sources overall.

For news about their own nation, 52% used UTV, 50% used BBC One, 25% used Facebook, 20% BBC Radio Ulster, and 15% used Cool FM. The highest rated newspaper for daily news was The Belfast Telegraph at 5%, with the Irish News and Sunday Life at 4%

Up to a fifth of respondents in Northern Ireland with a TV in their home claimed to watch one of the Irish channels at least weekly
Each had comparable viewing among our respondents – RTÉ One (20%), RTÉ2 (18%), TV3 (now Virgin Media One, 16%) and TG4 (15%).

Adults in Northern Ireland are more likely than those in any other UK nation to listen to the radio, with 93% tuning in each week.
Local radio accounts for 60% of listening in Northern Ireland, far higher than counterpart stations in Scotland (41%), Wales (31%) and England (31%). (Radio listenership is high in ROI too – with 83% of all adults tuning in on a daily basis)

Listeners can choose from more stations than ever before, but despite this, local radio continues to hit the right note. Local stations – Cool FM, Downtown, U105, the Q Network, Downtown Country and BBC Radio Ulster/Foyle – account for 60% of listening in Northern Ireland, far higher than their counterpart stations in Scotland and Wales

BBC Radio Ulster was the most listened-to radio station across Northern Ireland30 in Q1 2019, with a reach of 32.4% (2018=38.5%), followed by Cool FM at 31.6% (2018=32%). Within the Belfast area, where 60% of the Northern Ireland population live,31 Cool FM had a greater reach, at 37.3% (2018=38.2%). BBC Radio Ulster was the second most popular station with a reach of 31% (2018=36.2%)

DAB and Smart Speakers are getting more popular.
There was a 10% increase in the digital share of listening in Q1 2019 compared to the same period in 2018, the highest growth of any UK nation.

However, listening through a digital platform still only accounts for 39.5% of total listening in Northern Ireland compared to 56.4% across the UK.

DAB take-up is also lower, at 45.9% compared to 66.7% across the UK. The use of smart speakers is increasing in the home. Just over a fifth (22%) of Northern Ireland households own a smart speaker – up 7pp since last year.

The peak time to listen to the radio during the week in Belfast is between 9.00 and 10.00am.
The breakfast and mid-morning shows are the most listened-to programmes on Cool FM and Radio Ulster in the Belfast area. The most listened-to programme at this time in this area is BBC Radio Ulster’s The Stephen Nolan Show. Across the duration of the show32 it reaches 20.4% of the Belfast area, slightly lower than the 21.0% reach across Northern Ireland as a whole. Cool FM has a bigger audience reach than its rivals in Belfast from lunchtime on.

One in five adults have listened to podcasts and listen-again services.
In 2019, Ofcom research shows that one in five adults (22%) in Northern Ireland have used listen again services or tuned in to podcasts, in line with respondents in Scotland (25%), but a lower proportion than in England (34%) or Wales (30%).

Buymedia integrates this and other important data for SMEs into our media planning and buying platform. If you’d like to see how Buymedia can make your advertising more effective drop Rikki Thompson a line – rikki@buymediahq.com

Continue Reading 2020 Media Insights Report Northern Ireland (Download)

How The Media Planning Landscape Is Changing.

Plan my Advertising

In 2016 Forbes Magazine’s, Kimberly Whitler spoke with the then CMO of Mediamath, Joanna O’Connell to get her insights into the future of media planning and how smart businesses will need to adapt to a more integrated and data driven approach to their marketing.

It was also really interesting to hear Joanna talk about a hybrid media planning model where the agency would need to use intelligence to help make decisions but also personal intervention with media companies to create bespoke packages that fit the advertisers needs.

At Buymedia they are using this model to help advertisers access advertising that is bespoke to their needs, data driven and removes the manual processes involved to achieve more effective advertising campaigns for SME advertisers.

The future of media planning is now here, thanks to Buymedia.

It’s changing because of two simultaneous forces: first, consumer behaviors and attitudes are changing; and second, the ubiquitous availability of data and the advent of sophisticated technology are changing what’s possible in media planning and, critically, media buying, optimization and measurement. Because of how and where people now consume content and want to engage with, and be engaged by, marketing, brands must look at media management holistically, across not only channels—including paid (like display and video advertising) and owned (like their websites, apps and email programs) —and devices, but also supply sources, data sources and measurement approaches that take into account both online and offline activity.

The traditional way a media plan would be built is that a media buyer from an ad agency (typically) would call, for example, Forbes.com – the supply source in this example – and negotiate pricing and placement over the phone. They would talk back and forth, over the phone and/or email, until a specific contract was finalised, at which point an insertion order would be emailed out to the media supplier. Then, finally, an ad tag would be generated and emailed out, and so on and so forth. As you can see, bringing a media plan to life was extremely manual.

However, the world has evolved. In the past few years, you’ve seen the rise of programmatic, where technology has enabled media buyers to log into a platform and have direct and instant access to purchasable inventory. In the early days of programmatic, advertising inventory existed in a giant pool inside of ad exchanges, which were basically marketplaces. This was a huge process innovation. But it didn’t yet solve for the need for buyers and sellers to interact on a one to one basis, and contract more specific pools of inventory or audiences. Today, that’s changed: the best of programmatic is still in place – the process efficiency along with real time decisioning and optimization, but you are seeing a return to relationships and direct negotiations. That said the negotiations are occurring over non-traditional things, such as pass-back rights, data rights, etc. For example, as a buyer, I might want to negotiate with Forbes.com (the supplier) for rights to get access to use its user data to inform my media program with Forbes.com and potentially even outside the boundaries of the Forbes.com site. That requires a direct interaction. In the future, I think we’ll see more and more “traditional” type buys, where buyers and sellers negotiate on placement, audience, packaging, guarantees and more – being powered programmatically.

It’s been a pendulum swing over the last ten years. Going back in time to the mid-2000s, you saw the rise of third party data providers. These third party data aggregators don’t typically own the data, but rather integrated several data sources into audience segments for companies to purchase, enabling both insight and audience targeting. Agencies and their marketer clients had enormous interest in using these third party aggregators to target audiences in media, as it took them beyond the traditional limits of “content as proxy for audience”, the paradigm used since the advent of advertising. Then, about five years ago, savvy marketers started to recognize that they were already sitting on valuable audience data–their own. 1st party data can come from a range of places including CRM databases, email campaigns, online and offline transactional data, etc. and can power both insights and targeting, and the pendulum swung heavily toward first party data as the best and only answer.

Today, marketers are realizing that the answer likely lies somewhere in the middle–that is, that first party data is a great foundation that can be augmented with second (back to my Forbes.com example above) and third party data to have a richer understanding of their best customers and to build look alike models based on those customers, all for the purpose of targeting them with marketing to drive better business results.

Measurement is the biggest ongoing challenge that marketers face. The traditional measurement framework relies on marketing mix modeling, using a top down approach, that is, regression analysis, to understand how different channels and marketing tactics influence purchase, typically in-store purchase. These analyses are big undertakings; they typically would be run about every six months or a year, with an output that would help a marketer understand optimal channel mix.

Now, in the digital world, everything is both instantaneous and highly trackable, and therefore, measurable. With multi-touch attribution, a bottoms up approach to understanding how individual digital marketing touch-points lead to a user conversion (like an online purchase), you can get near real-time insight into how your marketing is performing and how your tactics are interacting. What display ads did the consumer see? What search links did the consumer click on, etc. and how did those individual ad experiences contribute to that user’s behavior? And even better, we now live in a world where a marketer can directly port the output of a multi-touch attribution system into a programmatic platform like ours to make smarter, real time buying and optimization decisions. What is still underdeveloped is the ability to fully connect all marketing interactions with the consumer to what happens in the store. There is meaningful progress in closing the gap between online and offline journey mapping, but it’s not closed yet.

It has changed on a lot of fronts. For example, I was a media planner and buyer at Razorfish (a large digital agency) in 2007. My job was to put together a media plan to hit a CPA (cost per action) goal. I did that by spending time on the phone negotiating packages with individual publishers. Like I described earlier, we would send excel spreadsheets back and forth and finalize a contract manually. And then when the campaign went live, we’d have to download the performance data, say, weekly to see how things were doing and we might make some manual decisions on how to optimize the buy. At that point, we’d get back on the phone to renegotiate the contract to be able to change the plan. And all that would influence how we planned the next campaign.

Now I can login into a platform and set up a business goal—say, return on advertising investment (ROAS)—set the target audiences I want to reach and then launch a plan, all inside a single platform. The business goal that I set inside the platform will inform real-time decisions and optimisations. With today’s machine learning technology, the platform will only get smarter over time, driving performance up.

I was just on a panel and we were discussing the fact that CMOs largely don’t understand the complexity of these changes. But, CMOs do understand that technology and data are now the levers that will drive significant performance enhancements and so they’re more commonly leaning in to get more involved in the decision making. While it used to be the case that agencies had a lot more discretion to make decisions around data and technology partnerships, marketers are actually taking a more hands-on approach to the decision making. CMOs recognize that a great consumer experience that transcends channels, formats and devices will be powered by data and technology, and that efficient, scaled business performance will be the resulting benefit to their organization.

In aggregate, this means marketers need to steep themselves in data, technology and advanced measurement techniques to not only stay ahead of competitors but to also drive actual, incremental business results for their companies. These changes have the power to move marketing from “cost center,” its traditional home, to “revenue engine,” where it belongs.

For the full article – The Media Planning Landscape

If you want your business to take the next step into the new media planning landscape contact us today to find out what’s the first step – hello@buymedia.ie

Continue Reading How The Media Planning Landscape Is Changing.

Is your Hotel ready to deliver experiences to ‘Generation Clean’?

Hotel Advertising

Hospitality sector gears up for Q4 rebound and ‘Generation Clean’

Buymedia has worked with the top hotels for over 5 years. There have been many changes to the hospitality industry in that time, but none as cataclysmic as we have seen in the last 5 months.

How can hotels adapt when they are forced to close down? How can hospitality businesses pivot when their pipeline of revenue has been severed?

Yet these heroes of hospitality have come through finding new revenue streams, innovative procedures while continuing to bring amazing experiences to their guests.

We’ve been honoured to be part of that journey, helping our hotel clients find new markets, build new customer profiles and discover new ways and channels to reach these customers.

This is part of a series of investigations into how the industry is changing, how the habits of the hospitality consumer is changing and what they now expect from hotels.

This article from the World Advertising Research Centre in July 2020 explores new hospitality trends, the outlook for the future and new customer personas and expectations that are emerging.

Despite being one of the hardest hit industries, the hospitality sector remains positive in its outlook, anticipating recovery to begin as early as Q4 of this year.

According to new research by Amadeus, 80% of Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International (HSMAI) members expect to see signs of hotel recovery in their primary markets by Q4 2020.

Asked what they believe will be the most effective strategy in recovery plans, communicating updated safety measures (54%) topped the list while targeting the correct market segment came second (25%). Few believe special promotions (7%) or discounted rates (4%) would be effective as markets reopen.

The study also found that 76% of HSMAI members are starting to prospect new types of account business and traveller segments where they were not previously focused.

A new global customer segment of travellers is also emerging. Dubbed ‘Generation Clean’, this new cross-generational segment of traveller prioritises health and hygiene when hotel shopping in this new era. From the survey, 38% believe a change in health and safety will be the most significant trend during crisis recovery, and a further 47% also see this as the most impactful long-term trend.

Another trend is one of experience over convenience as the influx of online events now available is a clear indication that the experience economy is here to stay. After months of confinement, consumers will focus on trips that deliver meaningful experiences. Hotels have an opportunity to build packages for different traveller types, from the solo adventurer, couples, groups – and beyond – that appeal to this need.

The research also found that the key to recovery for some hoteliers will be to branch into new priority markets, given the significant impact that COVID-19 will continue to have on destination choices in the near and mid-term future.

“Previously, New Zealand was not a key market for our property in Australia. Now that it’s one of the first markets that may offer booking potential, we are taking the time to understand booking behaviour and buyer personas and build strategies around this,” said Helen Radic, HSMAI marketing advisory board member, APAC.

Many acknowledge that hoteliers will need to significantly adapt their business models to capitalise.

If you would like to get advertising insights that are specific to your hotel, customers and geography please drop us a line and we’ll be happy to help – production@buymediahq.com.

Continue Reading Is your Hotel ready to deliver experiences to ‘Generation Clean’?

A healthy media diet for food & drink brands

Food Advertising

In July 2020 Duncan Southgate, Global Brand Director with Kantar wrote an insightful piece for the World Advertising Research Centre on Media Effectiveness for Food Products and non-alcoholic drink Brands. Below is an excerpt from that article which anyone responsible for Food Marketing will find hugely valuable.

Buymedia focuses on the marginal improvements that Food & Drink products, manufacturers and marketers can make when planning, purchasing, managing and measuring their advertising spend across multiple channels. By combining data primarily from Kantar, Nielsen and the IPA Databank our goal is to make advertising more effective for Food marketers. Buymedia is the only platform that can help Food & Drinks businesses integrate advertising across multiple media channels – creating what Duncan calls “memorable moments” across all touchpoints. We hope you enjoy Duncan’s article and learn from his 25 years of experience in brand, communications and media research.

Like a good nutritional program, the trick to touchpoint effectiveness for food and drink brands is balance and variety. These brands are some of the world’s biggest advertisers, and key to their success is demand generation at scale. But in attempting to create this scale, they need to be careful not to rely exclusively on paid media, or to rely too heavily on any one specific media channel.

The Kantar Connect database shows that paid media delivers just 23% of all touchpoint impact for food and drink brands, less than we see in other categories. Product experience and word of mouth deliver almost 50% of touchpoint impact. These need to be maximised, as well as fundamentals like good distribution and shelf presence (both in-store and increasingly in e-commerce). In fact, according to our COVID-19 Barometer, 14% of people bought food and drink online for the first time in the month of March this year (more than any other category). So the brands that have invested in e-commerce will now be reaping some significant short-term rewards.

Memorable moments across all touchpoints, new or old, need to create associations that stick in the memory and set food & drink brands apart. For example, a relatively small French biscuit brand with limited marketing budget were focused mainly on delivering their product as a sample along with a cup of coffee in bars and restaurants. Kantar Connect results showed it was the only brand to generate a positive experience through valuable moments, while its competitors were dependent on promotions and other value-destructive pricing strategies. As a consequence, the client set up a B2B action plan to maximise the impact generated through coffee-related point of sale touchpoints and put more emphasis on this USP in their paid media communication.

Within paid media, the food and drink brands Kantar measures invest very heavily in TV, achieving high reach (72%) and strongly building awareness and associations. However, this investment is less cost-effective than other paid media (index of 73*), largely due to excessive frequency (the average of 18 is well above our optimal threshold of 13).

In contrast, Facebook ads are delivering very cost effectively for food & drink brands (index of 152*), in part thanks to lower than average frequency levels.

Food and drink brands who have joined the Facebook boycott are therefore doing so at a real and relevant cost to themselves, according to research conducted by the Oxford University Saïd Business School, based on Kantar data. In general, boycotting food and drink brands should expect a drop in Unaided Awareness (-7%), Associations (-6%), and Motivation to Purchase (-5%).

TV spend is also not providing the perfect platform for success, because synergies between TV and other media are significantly lower than we see in other categories. So why might food and drink brands be struggling to generate synergy? As well as having much less TV synergy, they also achieve less digital synergy than other categories. So perhaps food and drink brands are still somewhat siloed and struggling to fully integrate their “traditional” TV media with their digital activity?

Online video is another touchpoint where food and drink brands could do better. The cost effectiveness of online video is below average (index of 90*), which is worse than we see for other categories (index of 129*). Investment is relatively high but reach, frequency and brand impact are lower than other categories, suggesting potential to improve media efficiency (lower CPMs) and impact (better customised content).

A cheese snack brand in Germany learned the importance of a balanced media diet. They were pursuing a new strategy to change their brand positioning amongst young adults by using out-of-home (OOH) and point-of-sale as their main reach drivers. Kantar’s CrossMedia solution showed the OOH drove awareness due to high reach, however the impact did not go beyond reminding consumers about what they already knew about the brand. OOH messaging needed to be bolder to build new associations, and other channels were needed to provide wider context. Our recommendations were adopted in a subsequent campaign which included Facebook and YouTube, and these synergies saw far stronger increases in brand metrics.

Into the future, food & drink will be significantly impacted by the emergence of the ‘Post Retail’ era, where we will see the rise of e-commerce & shop-vertising, and a shift to algorithm-assisted auto-replenishment. This blurring of marketing & sales implies greater fluidity will be needed between how food & drink brands create and convert demand.

We are entering a new phase of “post digital” marketing. Some of the newest DTC food & drink brands have found success in the online space, but are now evolving and aspiring to be more like traditional brands (investing in offline shelf presence and bigger media budgets which are not just digital). Meanwhile, traditional FMCG players are learning from the DTCs by improving their e-commerce capabilities and ability to connect with younger audiences.

Across both TV and digital media we also have clear evidence that an excessive share of spend for any single channel damages effectiveness. For all of these reasons, it is clear that a varied media diet (both paid and non-paid, traditional and digital) is the way forward for food and drink brands.

If you would like Kantar insights specifically for your business to help make your food product advertising more effective please drop us a line – hello@buymediahq.com

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