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Strong salience helps Meaningfully Different brands grow share faster

Strong salience helps Meaningfully Different brands grow share faster

Salience requires coordination of content, reach, placement

It is fine to be a famous brand, but fame alone does not grow brand sales over time. Rather, it is important to first build—and then communicate—Meaningful Difference. This process creates brand Salience, meaning that the brand comes easily to mind when the customer is considering a purchase.

Brands that are Meaningfully Different and Salient are able to drive sales and accelerate market share gains. However, given China’s fragmented media landscape, along with rising interest rates and currency factors, the challenge today is to create Salience in the most effective way, ensuring maximum ROI.

Building Salience requires a process that begins with creative content to present the brand in ways that make people feel positively disposed to the brand and motivated to purchase it. The content needs to reach the right audiences and repeat for optimal impact. Then placement, scheduling the right media for when consumers are most receptive, needs to achieve optimal engagement.

The most effective media mix varies by product category. In categories that require mass reach, such as drinks or telecommunications, the most effective mix is 40 percent TV, with the balance of media divided evenly between online video on PC and mobile, and elevator LCD. For more targeted categories, the mix changes according to the audience.

For example, the most effective mix for messages about casual food, which often target young women, is 40 percent PC and mobile video, with the balance evenly divided between TV and LCD screens in buildings. For messages about consumer electronics and cars, which typically target medium-to-high-end customers, the most effective media mix is 40 percent elevator LCD, with the balance evenly divided between TV and PC and mobile video.

Placement opportunities are expanding. In 2018, advertisers increased spending on elevator TV and posters, for example, while reducing spending in some traditional media. This spending pattern aligns with changing consumer media habits. Time spent with traditional media, such as newspapers and magazines, continues to decline. Although the internet exceeds other media in daily reach, the growth rate of internet time spent by consumers is slowing.

Effective placement also requires not getting lost in the bombardment of messages that saturate consumers. Brand owners and media planners need to manage long-tail media channels and be open to emerging media.

 Linking a brand with entertainment is one of the most effective options for placing content and avoiding saturation. Across all city tiers and age groups, people are spending more time online watching webcasts and other short videos. This is an important option for achieving Salience with the right content, reach, and placement. 

Brand Implications

  • Given all the pressure on ROI today, it is critical to create Salience with smart media decisions.

  • It is most effective to build a brand’s Meaningful Difference first, then communicate it with the right content, reach, and placement.

  • With media mix, once size does not fit all. The most effective media mix varies, depending on the product category, targeted audience, and media budget.

  • Forget business as usual. Be openminded about exploring new media channels, including Out-of-Home and streaming video.

  • The internet has changed the game. In many ways, media behavior is similar across city tiers and age groups. People are on clicking the latest apps for news and entertainment.