Research is critical to almost every facet of business life, pinpointing trends that can be sorted to enable better strategic direction. Media and communications planning for marketing campaigns is serious business since advertising has a critical role in raising awareness, creating interest and desire, and of course, generating sales and maintaining demand.
Improved understanding of media consumption patterns will dictate the future of the industry, as advertising and media placements will be formulated using these insights. cmb, a full-service advertising and marketing company based in Charlieville, set out to map, quantify and analyse these patterns to understand the nuances of Trinidad & Tobago’s consumers, validating longstanding assumptions about the local market with data. Understanding these media consumption patterns is fundamental to maximising the return on investment of marketing budgets through more strategic advertising and content placement.
cmb established the framework for the survey, advising its research partners, advising its partners, data analytics firms Lucent Research Ltd and Sacoda Serv Ltd, who conducted more than 900 interviews over a four-month, period from July to November 2016. Respondents represented a sample of people best indicative of the population according to the latest Census data as determined by age, income level, education level and gender.
The company now uses the data from the survey to inform its planning and execution strategies, helping the company—and its clients—formulate more effective and impactful media plans and rationales to direct marketing communications. Clients now have a clearer picture of how their target audiences consume media, armed with advice and recommendations for more precise campaigns that will encourage greater audience engagement. Better data also means faster approvals for media schedules, increasing efficiency, allowing execution to be more controlled.
In 2014, industry data ranked the most prominent media in Trinidad & Tobago as print, followed by television and radio—the traditional triumvirate. The cmb survey upends that status quo, showing that in 2016, digital media has been making significant strides in the industry, and that while television and radio still dominate the local media landscape, social media juggernaut, Facebook, has overtaken newspapers as the third most popular media platform in Trinidad & Tobago.
Generating a media plan requires high concentration and impact measurement. Communication and media strategists focus on reach, frequency and gross ratings points (GRPs, percentage of target reached times the frequency of exposure), budgets and negotiations. However, a fundamental element that determines media selection is understanding how that target audience consumes media: the landscape, radio station ratings, and market shares.
The survey’s demographic insights have proved to be particularly useful. While television and radio were overwhelmingly popular across demographics, allowing traditional media to maintain a comfortable dominance in the battle for local attention, in key pockets, particularly among the younger generations and the more affluent and higher educated, digital media has been gaining prominence. Facebook, most notable, features significantly among the younger generation (18-35 years), so brands with an active presence on the social media platform can profit by being able to reach and interact with this market.
Depending on a company’s strategic goals, brands can leverage the advantage of both traditional and digital media since each offers its own strength in the context of marketing objectives.
The media landscape in Trinidad & Tobago is dynamic and the insights garnered from cmb’s survey help contextualise the environment for media and marketing strategists. There are over 35 radio stations, more than 15 television broadcasting services, six local free to air television stations, and over ten subscription television providers. Mobile penetration is over 150 percent, and internet penetration among the survey’s respondents is over 80 percent. These are all parameters within which a media strategist needs to work, and the more information they have to make decision on how to best guide a campaign’s direction and allocate budgets, the more precise the reach and returns to the client will be.
As the previous seven articles in this series demonstrate, cmb believes in sharing this data, helping marketers, media buyers and strategists use these results to leverage local media consumption trends among key demographic groups, allowing clients to achieve more effective reach and less scattering loss through more informed audience targeting.