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How brands can reach consumers on every platform

How brands can reach consumers on every platform Kimberly Ficarra

The current proliferation of media -- and devices on which to consume these media -- is great for advertisers. Reach has exploded as new and affordable consumer-facing technologies hit the market, from inexpensive smartphones to reasonably priced tablets. However, with added exposure comes the risk of saturation, which leads to a more competitive media marketplace.

Media brands need to make connections with consumers across several platforms, not just one. Marketers looking to make the biggest impact need to ask themselves if their research plans include efforts to expand the value of the brand, strengthen or retain its foothold in the hearts of media users, and deepen its pool of ad dollars.

Great media brands do not appear overnight. Ideally, they are carefully crafted through one consumer experience after another, each forming a building block. Here are the key building blocks for making an impact across the web.

Brand resonance

When consumers feel an affinity with almost anything -- a coffee type, skin care product, or TV network -- we say that the brand resonates. By measuring the resonance of media elements, such as personalities, programs, and brand names, companies can confirm the connection between engagement and advertising, as well as ad recall and reactions to advertising. To do this, marketers should evaluate numerous statements to enable analysis at a detailed level, uncovering brand opportunities and challenges.

Additionally, by analyzing responses to combined statements, marketers can gain a quick view into brand strengths and weaknesses in four key areas: loyalty, attachment, engagement, and community.

Here are example statements for each key area:

  • Loyalty: "I consider myself loyal to this network."

  • Attachment: "I would really miss this network if it went away." 

  • Engagement: "I identify with others who watch this network."

  • Community: "I would go out of my way to watch this network." 


Once a brand has determined resonance, it's best to implement a four-part measurement to understand the importance that consumers attach to media brands. Do they see a brand as indispensable or simply "nice to have," and what makes the difference? These are the aspects of "wantedness:"

  • Value -- defined as worth, usefulness, or importance

  • Necessity -- something that is essential, indispensable

  • Effort -- the amount of work put into viewing a program

  • Persistence -- repeated viewing, endurance

Again, wantedness is derived from numerous statements, and the following statements apply to each of the key aspects listed above:

  • Value: "The time I spend watching this network is time well spent."

  • Necessity: "I would pay extra to be sure I continued to have access to this network."

  • Effort: "I plan in advance to watch one or more programs on this network."

  • Persistence: "I watch programs on this network from start to finish."

By evaluating the findings from resonance and wantedness, both separately and together, the brand gets a clear sense of the value it holds for consumers.

Competitive benchmarking

The process of competitive benchmarking serves as a logical extension of resonance and wantedness, and can help assess a brand's relative strengths and weaknesses. This worthwhile analysis informs both tactical (marketing) and strategic (brand development) decisions to improve the performance of a brand.

Taking the first step

While today's multi-platform environment can have a powerful effect on media brands, the core elements of equity -- including resonance and wantedness -- still apply. Having a clear sense of the value that your brand holds for consumers can also reveal whether they are likely to be involved in the advertising that supports it. This knowledge translates into the opportunity for brands to redefine themselves, enhancing their value for advertisers and consumers alike. Taking charge of your brand's standing begins with knowledge of how consumers perceive you within the competitive landscape in relation to their expectations and needs.

Kimberly Ficarra is VP of the media team at Knowledge Networks, a GFK company.

On Twitter? Follow iMedia Connection at @iMediaTweet.

Feature art sourced from rintakumpu

Kimberly has over 16 years of market research experience, ten of which have been with the client service team at Knowledge Networks.  She is currently responsible for custom research projects, including all facets of qualitative and...

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