What Should My Media Mix be in 2016?

March 11, 2016 mogoarts

Is your spending in each media category aligned with your goals to acquire more patrons and retain the ones you currently have? Why or why not?

Regardless of your answer to the above, performing and fine arts organizations across multiple genres and classifications normally share similar goals- acquiring and retaining quality patrons and regaining the trust of lapsed patrons or visitors. In order to achieve this goal, it’s important to reach your patrons with messages in the digital environments where they are already consuming media.

Patron Media Consumption Trends & The Rise of Digital Media

Since 2010, the average person in the US has increased their time spent with digital media by 59% (eMarketer). Patrons of the arts are no different – and, since they tend to be educated and affluent, they regularly consume media across multiple channels and even devices for approximately 724 minutes every day. Patrons are also digital omnivores, meaning they regularly use two or more connected devices to connect to the internet. Since 2010, the average time spent with traditional media types, like TV (down 11%), radio (down 33%), and print (down 76%) has fallen dramatically. Meanwhile, media consumption digital channels like video, mobile, and social media continue to grow organically.

Cord Cutting

Critical to the conversation regarding the mass movement away from cable is the acknowledgement of “cord cutting,” or the elimination of all cable or traditional TV subscriptions. According to a recent study by the Consumer Technology Association, 11% of survey respondents said they had cancelled their TV service in the last year, and 21% said they hadn’t had a traditional TV subscription in over a year!

When you’re planning your media mix for 2016 and beyond, consider these facts about where and how your patrons are consuming media.

People Like Video

In the US alone, people watch approximately an hour and fifteen minutes of digital video every day. If that doesn’t seem like a big deal, consider that in 2011, the average person only spent 20 minutes doing the same activity. That’s a 275% increase in just 4 years, and almost 70% year over year. Video is an incredibly engaging, measurable messaging vehicle that is more cost effective than traditional TV buys. With digital video, you can track patron conversions and offer more targeted messages to the proper audience, as opposed to “mass blasting” an entire market to reach the people you want. You’ll also steer clear of the growing concerns raised by cord cutting. In addition, a growing proportion of video consumption can be attributed to the rise in mobile device use, with nearly a third of all time spent watching digital video being spent on a mobile device.


Everyone Is On Social Media, So Go Mobile

It turns out that people like to watch video on mobile devices, but people like to access social media on their mobile devices even more. In fact, people spend more time on Facebook alone than on any other mobile site, visiting their mobile Newsfeed approximately 14 times a day on average. By 2019, the mobile category will account for 72% of US digital ad spend and nearly 30% of total media spend, and the trend is clear. 2016 marks the first year that mobile spend will surpass spend for desktop-based advertising.

The rise of mobile is also responsible for the creation of  “second screen behaviors,” or the rise of the digital omnivore. A digital omnivore is one who uses more than one device to complete an online purchase or conversion. These cross-device behaviors, which weren’t measurable a few years ago, can now be tracked more accurately with technologies like Cross-Device Reporting, timestamps, and user or purchase IDs. Analytics from these reporting technologies show substantial conversion lifts when mobile touchpoints can be tracked and analyzed.  For arts marketers, this shows the complexity of the patron digital journey, and confirms the importance of a mobile marketing strategy.

What About Display and Search?  

Display advertising continues to be an important piece of a digital media mix. According to eMarketer, this year digital display advertising categories will account for 50% of all digital ad spending, up 23% from 2015. Digital marketers are investing more in the banner category specifically, and typically budget one out of every five dollars on these ad units. In 2016, up to 75% of all display spend will be allocated with the intention of reaching mobile users.

So What Are Others Doing?

Advanced digital marketers are doing what makes sense.

As your patrons move online, your marketing should follow suit, or you’re simply missing the opportunity to reach people where they actually consume media.

It’s estimated that this year, most organizations will allocate approximately 30% of their marketing budget to online marketing methods. By 2019, this rate is expected to grow to 35%.

It’s quite simple – your patrons are online, and will continue to increase non-traditional media consumption throughout 2016. Is your marketing mix ready?

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