As a young marketer working in the world of OTC, I now realise that despite the trials and tribulations of the market, we really had a simple life compared to the challenges facing our marketers today. Previously, the ways to talk to our consumers were wonderfully simple, limited to the channels of TV, radio, print and of course the pharmacist.
Today, we are faced with thousands of opportunities in terms of the ways to connect and each of which requires an understanding of the effect that that channel will have on the decisions of our consumer to choose, buy and use a remedy for their problems. Digital presents to us thousands of different formats and channels, we still have the many traditional channels on which we can leverage our message and still the pharmacist is the most important influencer of the final decision on the solution.
The secret is not so much to choose one or other means, the secret is to find the right combination of touch points and moments at which we can influence the individual. Each and every one of us has a mental filter that opens to messages during the course of a day, a week, a month or a lifetime. Our job as marketers is to deeply understand the consumer in their journey, using our category and brands to identify those moments where they are open to our message and receptive to the needs that we seek to address.
Only by understanding these moments, can we then go on to choose the media challenge that will deliver our brand during these critical high potential moments. To add a third dimension of complexity, the balance on how we then spend our hard earned marketing budget on which media and with what pressure, then relates to where our brand sits in the priority of the individual. If we are a new brand, then clearly we will be spending at moments earlier in the relationship to create awareness and consideration with an established brand. If we are an established brand, we might consider spending more in building the relationship towards loyalty and advocacy.
This powerful process I like to call ‘communication alchemy’, because in many ways it is the ability to combine different ingredients of communication depending on the environment, depending on the challenge so that we create a major result in order to deliver improved outcomes for our consumers.
Steve Sowerby (XPotential and The OTC Training Academy)