"How Context Helps Turn on a Mind"
This afternoon’s panel, “How Context Helps Turn on a Mind” gave interesting perspective from Jane Clarke, Vice President, Insights & Innovation, Time Warner Global Marketing, Bob DeSena, Managing Partner, Director of Active Engagement, Mediaedge:cia, Mark McLaughlin, Regional Vice President, Yahoo!, Ted Smith, Senior Vice President of Research and Intelligence, CNET, Chris Weil, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Momentum Worldwide, and moderated by Mike Donahue, Executive VP, AAAA and Co-CEO, Ad-ID & e-Biz for Media.
These individuals echoed sentiment similar to that of earlier presenters: the consumer is ultimately the one in control. McLaughlin acknowledged that having a great magazine or television show is a very powerful/artful thing, especially as the world becomes one of infinite choice and on demand. He said that consumers are the ones in control of turning on their minds and marketers have to get used to “leap frogging” the context and make sure they are reaching the right consumer, at the right time, with the right message. Smith emphasized the importance of keeping up with ever-changing consumer behavior, “Context is everything. The consumer is in control, which is the ‘nature of the beast.’ You can’t study or create a five-year plan.”
We learned that engagement is a challenge and the consumer is in control; what can be done to address the challenge and reach the consumer? Clarke emphasizes communicating research, “The advertiser has to do research they haven’t done before to create those links, which is where you’ll find case studies of how to turn on a mind.” DeSena suggests, “Surrounding context is a critical component of engaging: turning on a consumer to an idea, message enhanced in context.” Creating context to turn on a mind is certainly an ongoing challenge for these marketers. Panelists stressed the importance of getting full involvement from teams. At Time Warner for example, there are many people involved in meetings, collaboration with both creative and media agencies. Weil also supports the collaborative process saying, “The agency has to work as part of the overall. Companies must work with media, media buying, and creative agencies, to affect change: strong brands, strong cultures coming together for one client.” At Yahoo! McLaughlin says that working collectively, they need to improve upon explaining engagement as an essence of a brand and how it resonates with a consumer. In order to understand the user experience that drives engagement, as a company, Yahoo! has four pillars that they consider simultaneously: content, personalization, community, and search. He sized up the opportunity as “working towards finding out what message is resonating with what demographic and behavioral group.” At CNET, Smith says programming is built to encourage consumers to take action, an effort that is measured daily.
It’s an information exchange. Study the consumer and apply context that is relevant.