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How to position your brand for success in digital economy age

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Where traditional advertising methods still thrive, brands can now experience better engagement with their target audiences. PHOTO | FOTOSEARCH

Take a minute and think about how we have changed the way we purchase goods and services, consume media and even transfer money over the past five years.

Whilst in the past we would faithfully await our favourite programmes on a particular television channel, we now go ahead and download or stream what we would prefer to watch and tune in to television stations mainly for comprehensive news updates or programming that is not available online, which is very minimal.

Remember the pre-Internet era when your phone was the only means you could call and SMS your friends and family?

Now we have applications such as WhatsApp where you can form groups that serve as conference rooms for family communication, landlord and tenant conversations, internal communications in organisations just to name a few.

Gone are the days when you would have numerous phone numbers of various taxi drivers in different areas just in case you needed to move around. All you need now is an app that connects you to hundreds of taxis at the push of a button.

This disruption that has resulted from advancements in technology has given rise to a new breed of individuals whose lifestyle and practices mostly revolve around their mobile phones and tech.

This new segment of consumers widely referred to as millennials who are between the ages of 18-34 is posing new opportunities and challenges for brands who need to communicate with them.

It has also forced media agencies who are tasked with coming up with creative ways of reaching this target group, to craft innovative messaging within relevant channels in order to reach them in their increasingly “online lives”.

Kenyans are very receptive to technology and are adapting the digital economy concept faster than other East African regional states.

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that the East Africa power house receives a budget of 60 per cent from media agency Carat.

The advertising world has evolved from an era of per second billing to costs per lead and costs per acquisition. In the past, for example, companies in insurance, banking and mortgage sectors would take prime time space “to get the largest audience”.

However, they can now simply pay for advertising that leads to quantifiable business outcomes.

In other words, Carat can set a benchmark cost for leads to banks based on previous lead generation campaigns allowing them to see exactly how many leads their budget affords them on similar platforms and audiences – this is a far cry from placing a display ad on a webpage and hoping it achieves lead generation.

Where traditional advertising methods still thrive, brands can now experience better engagement with their target audiences as well as improvement on ROI.

Posterscope, also part of Dentsu Aegis Network, conducted an out of home audit in 2010 that makes them the only media agency with monitoring, scoring and performance evaluation tools in East Africa.

Carat Kenya following suit in April 2017 is also going to launch its own proprietary research that gives insight into attitudinal information for multiple segment groups.

To put this into perspective, with the data in the market now, you can only analyse viewing habits of people according to their age, region and income group. With the Consumer Connection Study (CCS), Carat will be able to tell how these people feel about different brands.

With digital migration and the availability of more channels, thus more choices for viewers, access to this level of insight is a necessity. CCS gives you in depth consumer information for over 80 media touchpoints.

After its launch in 2017, it will create a massive shift in allowing brands, media and advertising agencies plan media through deeper consumer understanding, which leads to improved targeting, more relevant messaging relative to the context of that message which leads to better business outcomes.

The writer is the media director at Carat East Africa which is part of Dentsu Aegis Network, a global communication group.