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    How to determine if a new tech opportunity is right for your media mix » Media in Canada

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    Stephanie Freeman

    As marketing, media and advertising professionals, we are trained to look for new opportunities. We are taught that successful marketers stay up to date with the latest news and stay in touch with their audience. We are continually optimizing, adapting and pivoting, doing whatever it takes to be effective, relevant and innovative. So it's no wonder we get excited about the possibilities of new technology.

    The downside to a culture centered on seizing opportunities is that new technology is often seen as a quick-fix solution to a brand's challenges. Critics call this “marketing FOMO” or “shiny object syndrome.” This is the tendency to jump on new things in the industry (shiny objects) and move on to the next innovation as soon as the hype cycle changes. We have seen the rise and fall of many shiny objects. In 2022, it was the Metaverse. In 2021, NFTs gained attention. In the 10's, it was Pokémon GO. And the list goes on.

    The reality is that not all technology aligns with your brand strategy, and making the wrong investments can consume valuable resources and slow your brand's growth. As with any decision in media planning, limited resources and budgets must be chosen to achieve the best possible results.

    When used properly, new technology enables great work and enables innovative ideas. To determine whether a new technology opportunity is a good fit for your media mix, first understand the opportunity and its potential with strategic rigor.

    Identify people using or discussing technology

    Innovative technologies are typically used by specific types of people before being widely adopted. Analyzing the introduction and conversation, he determines whether the target user is actively engaged with the technology or paying attention to what is happening with the technology. Once you know your target audience is invested, it's time to think more seriously about the opportunity.

    Set goals first, then address obstacles to growth

    All effective planning begins with clear goals. Start by outlining your marketing and communications goals to identify the biggest gaps to achieving growth. It could be a specific segment that shows an awareness gap or a preference over competitors. Pinpointing these gaps allows you to think about how new technologies can narrow them, so you can focus your innovation efforts, and also measure your success accordingly. A framework is also provided.

    Decide how to incorporate innovation into your overall plan

    A clearly defined budget frame acts as a protection against “shiny object syndrome.” Build your process from the bottom up, assess the budget needed to cover the basics of your media plan, ensure the basics are covered, and determine what percentage of your budget can be dedicated to testing and innovation. To do. With clear goals, an understanding of what you need to grow, and a possible budget, you can start thinking about how to leverage technology as a platform for your ideas.

    Focus on human needs

    Instead of thinking about the technology itself, step back and look at your target audience and their challenges. What problems are they currently facing? What is stopping them from buying more from your brand? And what problems are they using this new technology to solve? Recognizing that all technology is designed as a solution to an imaginary human need or problem can help you narrow down the areas where your brand can help.

    Create a smart measurement plan to demonstrate success

    Once you have developed smart ideas that align with your strategy, the next step is to create an even smarter measurement plan based on your objectives. This will help you sell your innovation to financially interested parties, report on the growth you expect, and get the praise you deserve afterwards. New technologies can be difficult to measure, so consult with your media vendors and data partners to understand your options before defining how you'll report on success. You may have to get creative, but ideally you'll want to be able to display a direct link from your media KPIs to your business goals.

    In some cases, you may come up with a great idea before you overcome this hurdle. In such cases, you can backtrack. This process helps you understand whether the idea is suitable and how it can be further developed to achieve the established objectives. Creativity is tricky, but strategy can serve as a guiding force, directing our efforts by saying yes to the right ideas and no to the wrong ideas. This approach always saves limited resources on initiatives that are most likely to have the greatest impact on brand growth.

    Stephanie Freeman is Group Account Director for Strategy at Initiative.

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