April 26, 2023

Today’s naturally omni-channel world needs advertising to match

We live in an omni-channel world. This has been a natural evolution, and thanks to the ongoing progress of digital technology, it is now seamless – people automatically switch between different screens and are exposed to digital ads throughout their day-to-day activities without giving it a second thought.

In the process they pick up different signals from each, whether that’s digital, mobile, digital audio, digital out-of-home (DOOH), connected TV (CTV), in-game advertising or the metaverse.

And it’s not just ‘digital natives’. Statista data for example shows that smartphone usage in the UK has increased across all age groups – but particularly those aged between 55 and 64, 9% of whom used a smartphone in 2012, a figure that had risen to 90% by 2021.

For advertisers this increasingly connected environment opens up a wealth of opportunities, offering as it does new ways to reach target audiences at different times of day, in different contexts, with different messages, etc. More than that, the omni-channel consumer expects brands to communicate across different channels – strengthening the relationship with them can no longer be a single channel pursuit.

But successful omni-channel advertising requires both knowledge and the right tools.


The role of each channel

Multiplying the number of screens used in a campaign obviously increases the number of target audience touchpoints. But more than that, the beauty of omni-channel is that each element fulfils a different role, with the total of these being greater than the sum of their parts.

Let’s take a look.

We recently undertook a Hawk Barometer Brand Lift study to determine exactly how each channel plays out when it comes to advertising.

We found that audio, regarded as a personal and one-to-one medium, is key when it comes to recall – 57% of users hearing an audio ad will remember it. DOOH meanwhile tops the leaderboard for purchase consideration, with 46% of people seeing an ad on a digital billboard associating it with that brand afterwards. Finally, display is a vital component at the bottom of the sales funnel, with 25% of viewers planning to buy the product having seen an ad on mobile or desktop.

When it comes to the overall contribution that an omni-channel campaign makes to media effectiveness, comparing people that have been exposed to an ad campaign on several channels with those that haven’t shows a significant uplift in both recall and brand perception, thereby helping advertisers to raise overall interest and purchase intent.


Combined channels add connections

In short, there are a multitude of ways – including podcasts, outdoor (or indoor) billboards, and premium video games – for brands to capture someone’s attention with the right message, at the right time, through the right channel.

In addition, an omnichannel strategy makes it possible for the same brand to retarget the same people on different screens to reinforce a message; someone that has seen a billboard ad can then be sent an audio ad if they are near a relevant store for example, or a person might hear an audio ad and receive a follow up mobile display creative that includes an interactive map showing them the most direct route to the shop when they are in the area.

Using several levers is highly efficient when generating in-store visits; taking a recent campaign in the financial sector as just one example, the visit rate was seven times higher when several media channels were used rather than one.

In short, combining several screens is an easier and more effective way to achieve marketing goals. And a good strategy, robust data and an accurate and innovative activation platform make the possibilities almost endless…


In-depth consumer insights + efficient planning = effective omni-channel campaigns

Omnichannel advertising requires a deep understanding of peoples’ behaviour and preferences, the ability to deliver personalised messaging and promotions based on these, as well as the capacity to track and analyse customer interactions across all channels.

At Hawk we focus on four key components – data, location, channel, and creative – transcending formerly siloed advertising environments to ensure the most relevant users are reached in the most appropriate locations with the most engaging formats regardless of the media they are consuming. And we follow this up with in-built measurement tools to show these campaigns are delivering results for clients – but also consumers, who can connect with their favourite brands wherever they are and in their preferred format.

The current era of truly omnichannel consumers calls for media strategies to be applied in the same way. But with the tools and platforms available, and the undisputed rewards on offer, why wouldn’t you?


An article written by Chris Childs, UK managing director, Hawk

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