Technological change, the new Mexican telecom laws, and the incredibly fast adoption by consumers of new digital gadgets are producing an audience revolution, challenging advertisers, media and communication agencies as to how they communicate with consumers.
Although television as we know it is still the most used medium by advertisers/agencies, digital media is already in second place, outpacing media such as radio, OOH, printed materials, and cinema. Advertising investment in digital media in 2013 showed a 31% growth, while in television it had only a 4% increase.
Today, 5 out of every 10 inhabitants of Mexico can access a whole world of digital entertainment, where they spend more hours a day than they do in front of a TV. However, they are currently consuming more video – 25% of users follow a TV channel on the Internet. At the same time, we are witnessing the emergence of new content creators and/or distributors, such as Netflix, Veo, and Claro Video, among others, offering new entertainment formats. Printed media are also developing content and video to distribute on the internet. New audio media, such as Spotify, have also grown and are gaining large audiences.
In Mexico, social networks are a remarkable phenomenon: 9 out of every 10 internet users access them on a regular basis and every Mexican has an account on 3 different social networks, where they chat, upload pictures and exchange videos or content.
As for the most popular channels for consumers, in the US, tablet sales have surpassed those of desktop computers, while smartphone sales outnumber both of them. In addition, mobile phone penetration is as high as that of open TV. Mobiles are the closest and most interactive medium to consumers, and they represent huge communication opportunities for advertisers
Finally, the analogue shut off that will occur in 2015 will expand Digital TV across Mexico, broadening the bandwidth. This will enhance the likelihood of transmissions by an increased number of TV channels, leading to an ever-greater fragmentation of audiences.
Thus, technology is modifying mass media and their sales effectiveness. Media are looking for increased profitability and engagement with consumers. Consequently, the brand promotion model is changing dramatically as well: today, consumers look for content how, when and where they want to, so brands must be ready to communicate their messages whenever and wherever consumers are present.
In the midst of this social and technological revolution, there is no doubt that top brands that have done the right thing in terms of communication are remarkably present in consumers’ minds:
Most recalled brands are not only those investing significantly in mass media, but also those connected with relevant contents for consumers. Such is the case with sports brands like Nike, which invests little in “classical” advertising, but is naturally incorporated into every second of multi-platform sports transmissions. The same happens with brands that consumers see as an essential part of their lives like Google, an extremely relevant brand that does not invest in “traditional” media at all.
This is why top brands are facing an extraordinary challenge to retain consumers’ loyalty: they are expected not only to offer quality, but also innovation, constant dialogue and, equally important, an active role in the solutions for great global social, financial, and health issues.
So, how can top brands overcome these challenges? There are 3 key elements to success:
More and better research and analysis
It is essential that top brands understand, based on the outcomes of research and analysis of data on how different media are used, the changes undergone by audiences and the way they move through all the different platforms and channels available. This will help brands identify opportunities and develop improved media and communication strategies, as well as finding the appropriate media mix for each market segment. Following this path, brands will be able to hold their top position in consumers’ minds, as profitably and effectively as possible.
New technologies and formats, as well as resources to interconnect them and tools to measure their effectiveness as communication channels will continue emerging.
The more brands understand them and incorporate them into their communication strategies, the more likely it is that they will still be perceived as cutting-edge and valuable by their audiences. It is not only about being trendy but also about how quickly brands understand when and where emerging technologies will make their message more visible, creating an improved consumer experience.
Affinity and innovation
The days when messages were sent from only one direction are long gone. Today, we consumers have adopted a leading attitude and shared responsibility vis-à-vis brands. Not only that, we also expect that brands, especially top brands, will interact with us distinctively, empathically, personally and constantly, besides playing a proactive role in the most relevant global issues by undertaking actions to help us live in a better world.
Bearing this in mind, media should act as facilitators of this brand / consumer dialogue, enhancing and promoting action for the benefit of all the people and species living on planet Earth. Only those brands that succeed in leading, incorporating and preserving these qualities in their culture and vision will continue setting the trends and being rationally and emotionally preferred by this new kind of consumer.
CEO, GoroupM Mexico
GroupM, the world’s leading full-service media investment management operation, was created by WPP to oversee its assets in this sector. These assets include MediaCom Worldwide, MEC Global, Mindshare Worldwide and MAXUS. The focus of GroupM is the intelligent application of volume and scale in trading, innovation and quality of services, in order to bring benefit to clients and the companies it operates.