Truths & Trends in Media

ZLR Ignition Director of Media Jess Kennedy recently sat down for an interview with the digital production studio, Assemble. Jess talks taking on trends in the ever-changing world of media and shares tips for igniting your brand using data to drive smarter decision-making and create deeper connections with your audience.


The following is an excerpt from the interview, available on Assemble’s website.


How does ZLR Ignition approach their paid media strategies with clients?

We put the audience first. Whether it’s building a persona or understanding their media habits; we do our research. We map out an entire day in their life to truly understand who they are and how they consume their information. Our goal isn’t to just reach them through one tactic, but with multiple touch points throughout their routines. Are they playing Pandora in the background while they work? Are they checking Apple News on their commute? Do they frequent the local pizza shop and read the flyers on their pizza boxes?


Smart digital is not just throwing media out there and hoping it sticks. It’s using all the great targeting elements out there to make sure we’re really reaching our audiences and driving them to our clients’ websites.


What does that research look like? How do you get to know this level of intimacy with your clients’ audiences?

It’s all about developing a connected strategy. From a media standpoint, we can pull MRI (Market Responsiveness Index) and Scarborough data, which includes local and national consumer insights across multiple categories, such as household income, leisure activities, shopping behaviors, etc. Additionally, our strategy team will go out and do interviews with people directly. So, when we’re building our personas, we’re not just solely focused on media, we’re getting that holistic view of the person we’re trying to target regarding all of their interests.


These personas are based on the individual’s demographic and psychographic data, as well as the top websites, social platforms and media they’re using, which help us build our media plans and guide our decisions. This ensures we are reaching the audience on their terms. And we update them periodically to make sure we are following the most recent trends in media consumption.


What’s your top advice to businesses/marketers to really stand out in today’s digital landscape?

In general, the media landscape is very fragmented. There are so many devices in our world — you can have your TV on with your tablet in your lap and your phone on the table in front of you. And each of those are placements where your ads could be reaching you. Marketers have to make sure they have multiple touch points in your media plan because that frequency is so important to reinforcing your message and becoming memorable in the minds of your audiences.


Often, marketers will only get wrapped up in one area, and that’s it — for example, paid search. But that’s old school thinking and simply doesn’t work on its own today. You have to think about how a person moves throughout their day and figure out the best way to intersect with them naturally. So based on their behavior, we may complement the paid search strategy with video or audio to drive more awareness. If you’re only on one medium, it means you’re missing the larger universe and the opportunities it could bring.