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Audience reach, ‘shareability’ get a makeover as new media study mythbusts consumption


By Paul McIntyre
Published Mi3

When Vanessa Lyons presented a new three-tier research study at the Marketing Leaders Summit last week on how the public consumes all media throughout the day, their mindsets and how different channels trigger “shareability” – note social media is not as dominant as many assume – she got an unexpected response from brand owners, particularly in retail, banking and the services sector. “You don’t typically get a lot of feedback at these things but marketers were quite vocal afterwards – they said it was thought-provoking on the futility of pursuing high-reach audiences if their [consumers] primary intent is distraction,” said Lyons who commissioned the study as CEO of ThinkNewsBrands. Somewhat refreshingly, the study doesn’t spruik one channel as the powerhouse solution for everything although it does challenge the industry’s preoccupation for unqualified audience reach as a lead driver when chasing consumers to land advertising messages.

Remember dark social a decade ago? And word-of-mouth – the most potent of all marketing channels that has been all but sidelined because it’s terribly hard to measure? They’re a couple of old-new ideas that have re-surfaced in a major study looking to qualify media channel consumption and behaviour – beyond topline audience reach numbers. The study unpacks all media consumption across dayparts and the mindset consumers are in when they’re swapping, chopping and diving into content and media of all types.

The three-tiered approach to this research program, developed by Fiftyfive5, the insights firm acquired last year by Accenture, challenges many assumptions about media consumption and channel planning with those with ears to hear.

The methodology blends digital media monitoring of 2.5 million minutes via a passive people meter on mobile devices, consumption diaries covering circa 8300 media consumption occasions to capture motivations and behaviour, and a national survey of 2000 people.

There is a perception in market that the only media that’s shared is social media and online video. There are a multitude of ways that people are sharing.

— Vanessa Lyons, CEO, ThinkNewsBrands

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Written news maintains staggering 97 per cent reach and delivers deep, frequent audience engagement.

Readership figures from Roy Morgan show written news reaches 97% (or 21.5M) of Australians aged 14+ each month.

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