Are You Time Smart?

Advertising | Marketing

Wednesday 21st December, 2016

Here at Big Cat we’re passionate about producing work that works. At November’s Birmingham Digital Marketers Meetup our Marketing Director Hannah talked about the importance of knowing who you’re talking to, to ensure the success of any communications campaign…

It’s the strategy behind great ideas that gets me up in the morning. And I’m fortunate to do what I love every day heading up the marketing team here at Big Cat.

So what I wanted to take the Birmingham Digital Marketers through last month was a snippet of our strategic approach to creating effective digital campaigns.

Did you know that in 2005, the average adult in the UK spent 9 hours, 54 online per week? Fast forward to 2014 and this increased to 20 hours and 30 minutes online. Furthermore, it’s a little crazy that 53% of people check their phone within 5 minutes of waking up and 28% of people do so 5 minutes before bed.

Now I don’t know about you, but when I wake up, the type of information I could really do with being served up to my phone would perhaps be information on my instant needs – information on what would help me prepare my body for the day – something to satisfy my dehydration after a long night’s sleep perhaps? A balanced breakfast to set me up for day? Or how about information to help make my day easier – weather updates so I know how to dress appropriately, travel updates so I know to avoid driving and hop on the train if the M40 is shut…

But when I wake up, that’s not the information I get served. My notifications actually just show me all the things I’ve missed out on whilst asleep… “You have been tagged in Awkward Office Xmas Party Moments”. “42 people have reacted to a photo you’ve been tagged in”. “You have a message from Anthony Tattum”… You get my gist. And whilst this information is neither life enhancing nor business critical, you’ll bet that the first thing I do is check the Facebook album, and un-tag as soon as humanly possible!

The point I’m trying to make here, is that technology is trying to keep us busy because its primary metric is the time we spend with it.

So as consumers get more and more inundated with messages and content online, brands and companies will only achieve cut through by delivering something useful. And by useful I mean something that satisfies a genuine need – something meaningful. Because we all know decisions are easier when there’s less choice – so to help your customers choose you, you need to differentiate from your competition.

Businesses need to ask themselves how they become meaningful – with the answer starting with who you’re talking to. And to define that, there are 3 steps to take to generate truly meaningful digital communications based on real audience insight.

STEP 1 | Discover a genuine insight about your audience.

Now what I don’t mean by insight is your customer ‘demographic’ – because let’s be honest, that can get us into a fair bit of trouble. For example, taking one of our retail brands, their audience profile could be articulated like this:

All very well and good, but bear in mind, that this is an ABC1 female, 35, with high disposable income who enjoys buying shoes…

And this is also an ABC1 female, 46, with high disposable income who enjoys buying shoes…

Now this is just a guess, but I reckon there’s a good chance that Beyoncé would be looking for something quite different in a footwear brand to the Scottish First Minister.

So what we really need to get to the bottom of is:

  • How do our target audience think?
  • What’s important to them
  • What are their needs, wants and what is their general mind set?

Here at Big Cat we do this through research; at our desks, on the ground with vox pop style interviews, or via our research partner Research by Design who can facilitate a wide range of qualitative and quantitative methods.

Important to note though, is that conducting research is scalable dependent on the size of your business and what you offer as a brand. You don’t necessarily need to spend thousands of pounds. Accessing industry papers online and asking your family and friends who fit into your profile for their input can prove just as fruitful.

Just make sure you get the research done, because the detail gathered can then be distilled into a juicy profile like this:

Tells us a lot more right?

STEP 2 | Work out how something you offer answers this need/ want/ mind set

This involves taking your profile, and breaking down how the brand’s offering could answer each need highlighted. What you uncover as part of the profile can also inform how you communicate with your audience.

Insight Your response as a brand
Look good and feel comfortable Emphasise the form and function of the product
Money to spend, but not the time Communicate via channels that these women are already using at opportune moments, and make sure the website experience is slick. We want these women to get online, see what’s relevant quickly, make the purchase and enjoy the product to encourage a repeat purchase
Range of quality brands Emphasise the quality of the products in the messaging
Efficient, reliable buying experience Emphasise the great customer service on offer
I don’t buy cheap so I don’t want to be buying twice Communicate that the products on offer are durable, resilient, and of a high quality


So we now have a juicy consumer profile, and the product proof points to target them with, but what’s next?

STEP 3 | Design for time well spent

To create effective digital campaigns, brands needs to capitalise on what they offer that they know their consumer is looking for.

This is how we went about it for our retail client in question:

We emphasised quality, form and function through our brand proposition…

Notice that we didn’t say “Get your quality nice looking shoes here”. Because we needed to differentiate to get noticed, so we focused on creating an emotional connection through articulating how a high quality pair of shoes could make our customers feel.

We reached our females via

And we made sure the

Still with me? Here’s a recap:

Know your audience on an emotional level

  • Generate real insights based on emotion, outlook and behaviour

Match up your relevant offering

  • Tell them what matters to them

Design for time well spent

  • Create messages online that answer the insight generated
  • Promote on channels that your audience are actively engaged with
  • Design your user experience around your end user

And when you’ve done all this, do it again. Because society is ever evolving; needs change, habits change and communications channels change.

So to ensure long term cut through with your consumers, before you look to market, ask yourself:

  • How is my product or service relevant to my consumer?
  • How will what I offer help them as they go about their day to day lives?

And finally, how will I convince them, that time with my brand, is time smart?

Written by Anthony Tattum Founder & Chairman

Wednesday 21st December, 2016

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