Building Customer Profiles

Building customer profiles is key to any marketing campaign.  They describe everything you need to know about a specified group of customers. You can leverage that information to create a marketing strategy that aligns with the wants and needs of your audience. A customer profile will help you make informed decisions about campaign messaging, creative and channels, and targeting tactics to use.

Here are three steps to build customer profiles for your marketing campaigns:

  1. Identify your broad audience. Focus on the problem your product, service, or business aims to solve and who needs that problem solved.
  2. Consider your customer’s journey. Understanding how a customer goes from awareness and consideration to evaluation and conversion enables you to narrow your audience further. Knowing the touch points that a customer passes through before making a purchase will help inform what channels and ad formats you should leverage for the best results.
  3. Create a profile description. You now have a more narrowed idea of your audience and their customer journey, so it’s time to consider their demographics and psychographics in detail, such as age, income level, occupation, education level, and marital status along with influences such as hobbies and interests. Some of this information can come from your customer database, especially geographic information that can also be important to a successful marketing campaign.

Customer profiles are especially important when there are different types of customers shopping for your product or service. For example, minivan shoppers include families with young children as well as empty nesters, both who like a minivan’s practicality and ease of getting in and out.

With all of the consumer data available today, building customer profiles is not that difficult and can make or break marketing campaign.

Streaming Services Still Tops With TV Viewers

The streaming and TV Household landscape has changed dramatically:

  • Broadband Only (BBO) penetration has grown from 2% of TV HHs in 2014 to 33% in 2022.
  • In the past four years, Over-The-Air (OTA) has been stable at 15%, while Cable+ composition has gone from 73% to 52%.
  • 82% of TV HHs have Subscription Video on Demand (SVOD) or Virtual MVPD (vMVPD) services.

Streaming usage is increasing rapidly:

  • Streaming usage has grown by 24% in the past year, and 60% of usage is among adults 35+.
  • Available video content has grown 51% since 2019, there are now nearly one million unique program titles across linear and streaming.
  • Streaming is occurring in all TV households, not just BBO.

Streamers and BBO homes view local content:

  • Nearly half of adults are likely to stream live sports or local news and events.
  • While BBO penetrations continue to grow across the country, local news and live sports are the top program genres across markets.

Facebook Changes…Again

Yes, Facebook announced recently that their algorithm for what appears in your feed has been updated.   Your Facebook Home algorithm is now prioritizing recommended video content from creators. By “video content” they mean those funny, sometimes annoying TikTok-esque videos. All the content from your friends will now be in a totally separate Feeds tab. Video content has been the talk of the town in marketing land for a few years, now. Updates like this continue the evolution of just what kind of video content is trending, and “worthy” of the Facebook algorithm.

What’s more, Instagram announced EVERY video posted will now be classified as a Reel. So, if you have any video content, you can jump on in! Your video content will now be published in the Reels section – you know, where you can sit and scroll and suddenly realize it’s been HOW MANY hours?! Plus, they show up on Explore now, too. Marketers need to get savvy on how to create video reels that up their brand’s engagement organically…pronto!

Happy New Year

To all our Fusion Media clients, team members and business associates, as we enter another year of working together, we want to wish you all the best for the coming year. May this New Year bring you new opportunities and endless success! May your new year be filled with good luck, good fortune, and good health! May your year be filled with everything you wish for and more!  We are grateful for you all!

Trends Affecting 2023 Marketing

With the end of the year upon us, marketers, c-level executives, and decision-makers alike are dialing in on those annual opportunistic ‘what’s next’ discussions to ensure they position their brand for success in 2023 (and beyond).  Here are some of the top trends that will have an impact on future marketing:

The Economy— Though many consumers are still spending (largely thanks to increased savings during the pandemic), overall feelings toward the economy reached an all-time low in June 2022.  Experts and non-experts alike are unclear as to where the economy is headed but consumer surveys show them being nervous about the economy in 2023.  Much consumer spending has been shifting toward experiences—like travel and concerts—and away from goods.  This shift is likely tied to the fact that prices of goods have been increasing faster than those of services.  Brands seeking ways to ensure they are “Adapting to the changing economy” are looking for organic ways to win. Those positioned to get out in front have invested in technology, tools, and infrastructure needed to fight the good fight:

  • Collecting 1st party data that allows them to communicate and engage directly with consumers via email, text, and personalized experiences.
  • Affinity relationships that expand a brand’s reach and enhance its sense of community.
  • Development of Referral and Loyalty programs that leverage brand advocates to maintain market presence.
  • Comprehensive attribution tracking to continuously optimize ROAS and preserve baseline spend on top-of-funnel prospecting.
  • Dynamic, self-serve, sales enablement assets.
  • Product/Service extensions that remain relevant despite pull-back in consumer spending.

AI-Based Automation—Big data, supported by AI and predictive analytics, is helping brands to learn more about their audience and customers. It’s enabling hyper-personalization of customer experiences and marketing messages at scale.  However, while technologies such as AI and data-driven marketing continue to grow, the overarching focus will be on people, not technology.  Today, there’s a desire to make marketing more human again.  So, you have to offer consumers something more than information. 73% say that customer experience is an important factor in their buying decisions, but currently only 49% of US consumers say that today’s companies provide a good experience.

Gen Z Will Dominate— The first millennials are now approaching their 40th birthday. While this age group still makes up a significant proportion of the audience of many marketers, by 2030 this consumer group is expected to drop to just under 37% of the population as Generation Z starts to come of age.  Generation Z consists of people who were born from 1995 to 2010. These young people have grown up in a digital world and have very different viewpoints than generations that came before them. They’re also more diverse than any other generation in history.  A more diverse audience can make content marketing challenging, but it also opens up more opportunities to reach different segments of that audience through personalization.  Marketers focused on Millennials might find it’s time to take a step back and come up with some new ideas for reaching the workforce and decision-makers of tomorrow.

Story-Driven Content Visualization—With the explosion of smart speakers and voice search in recent years, you’d be forgiven for thinking that “readable” content is more important than visuals and design these days.  In fact, this couldn’t be further from the truth. Research has shown that people prefer visual content to plain text. You just must look at the growth of image-focused platforms Pinterest and Instagram to see the proof of this.

Growth of Influencer Marketing—There’s been a movement in recent years from Mega to Micro influencer relationships based on niche influencers’ ability to drive action and engagement versus simply having the largest following. Marketers have also explored different working relationships – tying compensation to the volume of content, the longevity of posts remaining live, issuance of personalized discount/coupon codes, and even the creation of co-branded (influencer-brand) marketplaces. The success of influencers for building brands (17% of brands put over half of their marketing budgets into influencer marketing) should only continue to grow.

Need For More Crisis Control—No one wants to be on the other end of a viral video gone wrong…common lately. Despite playing out all possible scenarios (good and bad), no one can predict the future, but you can be prepared. Besides having a well-thought-out Crisis Plan, the key is to remember that “crisis” can be defined as different things for different businesses or brands. And, in some instances, it’s just as important to define what a brand does or doesn’t take a stance on – or share its opinions for – to avoid getting pulled into a crisis inadvertently. Creating a clear point of view as to participation in social, political, economic, etc. discussions… or whether to address current events and public figure commentary can be an effective strategy for keeping your brand out of the crosshairs.

While marketing trends come and go, the basics of success remain the same: understand the needs of your audience and communicate with them clearly and consistently.

Sports Lift Broadcast TV

Sports lift broadcast TV but signs in viewing all point to streaming:  According to Nielsen’s September 2022 gauge report Broadcast TV viewing increased 12.4% while streaming hit a new high-water mark at 36.9% of TV usage.


The kickoff of the fall TV season and the return of football provided audiences with an abundance of new content in September, fueling a 2.4% rise in total TV viewing. The arrival of new broadcast programming provided the traditional lift that seen historically, but the 12.4% increase in volume from August wasn’t enough to alter the forward trajectory of streaming usage, as streaming services captured 36.9% of total TV usage.

Alongside the whopping, but perhaps not totally unexpected, 222% increase in sports viewing on broadcast channels, audiences continued to over-indulge on streaming content, resulting in yet another monthly high-water mark. Audiences also continue to expand their choice of streaming service, with YouTube hitting a new platform-best streaming record, claiming 8% of TV viewing and equaling Netflix’s July record high, Hulu securing its own record of 3.7%, and Pluto TV capturing 1% of total TV, enabling it to be showcased outside of the “other streaming” category. HBO Max also gained 9.9% in volume thanks to House of the Dragon and Game of Thrones, pushing its share of TV to 1.3%.

In several cases, increases in volume did not affect total TV share. For example, Amazon Prime Video usage increased 3.9% in September on the strength of The Lord of the Rings: Rings of Power and specific Thursday Night Football games, but the platform’s share of total TV remained flat at 2.9%. Similarly, Disney+ saw a 2.4% increase in volume, yet its share of total TV stayed at 1.9%.

Broadcast recorded the largest month-over-month gain, driven by the sports genre, which accounted for 25.1% of broadcast viewing. That said, broadcast’s 24.2% share in September was 7.1% lower than it was a year ago. Cable also benefited from a 40% bump in sports viewing, but the 0.4% rise in usage wasn’t enough to move cable’s share of total TV. In fact, with the other categories gaining share in the month, cable dropped 0.7 share points to finish with 33.8% of total TV, its lowest share ever reported by The Gauge. Cable viewing was 9.3% lower in September compared with a year ago.

The return of football was the true spark in September, as it provided new content across broadcast, cable and streaming. But even without sports, streaming—in all forms—continues to gain adoption, and it benefits from the emphasis that pure-play streamers and media companies alike are placing on it.

Complexity Soars

As the advertising landscape continues to evolve and fragment at breakneck speed, marketers are realizing that consumers are no longer satisfied with the status quo. Younger generations, in particular, are expecting a more contextually personalized, experience-driven online experience.  Advertisers are realizing that creating a seamless, personalized customer journey is essential for any digital marketing strategy. In turn, brands and agencies need to deliver compelling content and cross-channel initiatives to attract and retain their desired audiences.

…and the complexity of today’s marketing continues to soar.

In a world where consumers switch effortlessly between web and mobile channels and between physical and digital outlets, the levels of fragmentation and complexity are proving to be a massive obstacle for marketers, impeding true cross-channel success. And it’s only intensifying.

With the dramatic rise in connected TV adoption, the increasing influence and relevance of TikTok, the resurgence of Pinterest, a sprawling landscape of new streaming content platforms, the world of digital media is growing ever-more complex—and it’s making the job of implementing streamlined approaches across channels even harder for advertisers because everything is fragmented and disconnected.

What’s the solution?

In short, advertising automation. Automated campaign execution is ultimately an allencompassing concept covering a number of different areas. Every advertising activity has an end goal—from increasing brand awareness and lifting social engagement, to expanding lead generation and driving sales, and everything in between. Through various means, automation can help advertisers achieve those goals in the most efficient way possible.

It’s clear that all brands (of all sizes) executing a digital-first or direct-to-consumer strategy must move beyond a blanket targeting approach and, instead, create content that caters to their audience’s unique experiences and deliver it on their
preferred channel—be that Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Amazon, Hulu, Spotify, Pandora, or elsewhere.

It’s a very pivotal moment in the advertising industry as companies answer the call to create the best systems and processes for this automation. The technology to create a holistic, automated system is there but the systems available today fall short of the need. The good news is that it’s likely we won’t have too much longer to wait.


Generational Marketing

For marketing messages to be successful, it’s essential that they’re tailored to the different target audiences and markets. “Generational” marketing is the term coined for segmenting and targeting markets by age rather than other demographics such as gender, location, or income.  Marketing in general and especially content marketing is more effective if the motivations, challenges, and habits of each generation are understood and the content is tailored accordingly.

Obviously, it should go without saying that generalizing thousands of people as a single homogeneous group just because they fit into the same age range is not a great strategy either. Further segmentation of the target market is almost always necessary. But beginning a marketing plan by keeping generational marketing in mind can ensure that there’s not a huge chunk of the target market being excluded from the start.

Quick Takeaways:

  • Baby Boomers, Generation X, and Millennials are the current three main generations to focus on. Each generation has its own unique marketing opportunities and challenges.
  • Different generations consume different types of content online and spend their time on different platforms.
  • It’s imperative to go where the target audience is and adapt the brand voice and tone accordingly.
  • Each of the three generations has its own unique media usage and behavior.
    • Baby Boomers (1946-1964) – Traditional marketing is the norm and they tend to watch more television than younger generations, but 64% of people ages 50-64 use at least one social media site with Facebook being the most important.
    • Generation X (1965-1976) – This is the last generation who lived their childhood without computers, cellphones and the Internet being an integral part of everyday life. While tech-savvy group, they are often more comfortable using the technologies they’ve been accustomed to using since a young age. They can be suspicious or intimidated by newer social networks aimed at a younger audience.
    • Millennials (1977-1995) -This is the first generation that grew up around technology. They can’t imagine a world without the Internet and are lost without their smartphones. They’ve lived their entire childhood and youth in an “always on” world and expect instant information and gratification. This group is highly active on social media and is not loyal to any particular channel.




New Digital Ad Regulations

While the European Union continues to live up to being the fiercest tech regulator, here in the U.S. we could catch up if legislation named the Digital Services Act coming to a vote in Congress gets passed.  The new bill would prohibit companies that take in $20 billion or more in ad revenue from owning all the tech and marketplaces involved in both the buying and selling of those ads.  The law would require the Big Four to spin off parts of its global ad business as well as deliver higher levels of programmatic advertising transparency for advertisers and publishers. The fact that the bill has even made it to the Senate shows just how much Americans want a digital advertising industry that is more transparent and less of a black box.

So, what is the impact for us marketers using digital advertising?  First, it could lead to safer advertising environments—particularly in social media—because the internet will have less misinformation and earn more trust from consumers.  It would mean ad campaigns that are less personalized, at least based on ethnicity, religion, and sexual orientation, but the trade-off in favor of brand safety and a more trusting ad environment might be worth it.

It’s becoming crystal clear that consumers want more control over who can and cannot access their personal data as part of the advertising process.  One way or the other, the digital advertising industry is going to have to put a higher priority on consumer privacy.

The Metaverse

It’s getting a lot of hype lately as a set of virtual spaces where you can create and explore with other people who aren’t in the same physical space as you.  The Metaverse may live up to its hype with the help of AR (augmented reality) and VR (virtual reality).  AR augments your surroundings by adding digital elements to a live view, often by using the camera on a smartphone. Virtual reality (VR) is a completely immersive experience that replaces a real-life environment with a simulated one.  AR is now mainstream with an estimated 82% of people having used AR in the past year for things like face filters and product try-ons.  AR and VR are being seen as a way for technology to bridge the gap between the online and offline worlds we live in.

Today, the metaverse is being talked about as essentially a broad shift in how we interact with technology. And that means virtual reality, augmented reality, a digital economy (yes – users will be able to create, buy, and sell goods in the metaverse), virtual identities and avatars, and much, much more.  Marketing strategists at major companies expect a growing interest in “virtual worlds” and immersive technology in the next 3-5 years, especially among younger consumers. With Gen Z and Millennials on track to take over as the largest consumer group within the next few years, it makes sense that technologies aimed toward them start establishing a firm foothold now.

Facebook’s rebrand to Meta is a huge claim to stake, and it remains to be seen if their self-declaration as a metaverse company will be seen as authentic and earned, and they’re not alone. Brands such as Gucci, Nike, Disney, and Walmart are also focused on creating virtual communities, content, assets, fashion, art, experiences, and entire worlds. As this becomes the next frontier, brands will need to rethink their narratives in three dimensions and marketers will need to embrace this emerging technology.

There is the camp that thinks the metaverse is more hype than near future because the technology is 10-15 years away versus 3-5.  There’s also the question of people having the desire to use the metaverse.  Will people want to use VR/AR to be in an office meeting? To buy their next outfit.  Metaverse detractors don’t see knowing that for quite a while.