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From awareness to action: Mastering brand reach

By Vasant Jante - June 11, 2024

Lindsay Rapacchi, Research and Insight Director at Clear Channel Outdoor reveals the power of reach and targeting in brand growth strategies

Lindsay Rapacchi, Research and Insight Director at Clear Channel Outdoor, in his session on “Outdoor’s Secret Superpower” at the WOO Global Congress in Hong Kong emphasised OOH advertising's strongest attribute: broadcast reach. He observed that many media professionals don't fully understand why reach is crucial. Over the past year, he says that he conducted informal research with over 100 media professionals, including planners and clients, to discover their reasons for valuing reach. The top responses were identified to be priming people, increasing awareness, driving brand fame, and selling more advertising. However, Lindsay believes the most critical reason was missed: brands with smaller market shares have fewer, less loyal buyers. 

Leveraging Light Category Buyers

Illustrating this with the UK washing powder industry, where Persil leads with a 22% market share, Lindsay emphasised that a brand's success, like Persil's in the washing powder industry, is primarily due to its high market penetration, not loyalty. Market penetration, attracting more buyers, is believed to drive growth, rather than solely focusing on loyalty. 

Lindsay highlights the importance of understanding buyer distribution curves, where most buyers fall into the light category, purchasing infrequently. He argued for a strategy targeting this large segment of light buyers rather than solely focusing on heavy buyers, as traditional approaches tend to do.

He criticised the neglect of light category buyers in media plans, which often prioritise niche audiences. He suggested integrating light category buyers into media planning to unlock OOH advertising's full potential, as different channels reach varying numbers of these buyers. By prioritising reach to attract more light buyers, brands can achieve significant growth. Lindsay's call to focus on light category buyers offers a fresh perspective on brand growth strategies and the importance of understanding market dynamics beyond loyalty.

The winning duo

Discussing a UK study involving over 40,000 consumers and 250,000 brand interactions, he revealed that OOH and TV were found to be the most effective pairing, increasing productivity by a factor of four. However, he cautioned against relying solely on this combination, emphasising the importance of using a variety of media channels. He highlighted the need for brands to align their customer base with the broader market, using OOH to reach underrepresented demographics. For example, brands should not over-target older consumers at the expense of younger ones.

Refining the Recipe of Reach

In his strategy presentation, Lindsay outlined a holistic approach to media planning, emphasising the importance of reach in OOH advertising. He rejected a highly targeted approach, asserting that OOH's strength lies in its ability to reach a broad audience. Lindsay's strategy begins with a focus on programmatic digital OOH, leveraging mobile data to target specific audience segments that over-index for the brand. Integrating with other media channels, including radio and addressable TV, further expand reach and reinforce brand messaging. 

Lindsay applied the "duplication of purchase" law, targeting competitors' customers who are more likely to overlap with the brand's customer base. 

He advocated for a dynamic media plan that adapts to different consumer behaviours and contexts, exemplified by programmatic ads tailored to specific weather conditions and time slots.

Lindsay underscored the importance of balancing reach with targeted messaging, leveraging empirical evidence and consumer behaviour insights to optimise brand growth. He emphasised the foundational role of broadcast reach in OOH advertising while integrating insights from the duplication of purchase law and category entry points to refine and enhance media planning strategies.

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