Connecting with the audience
May 8, 2024


Published By
Reading Time
7 min

I’M LOOKING AROUND and I’m bored. Annoyed by all the noise. The shouting. The “sameness” of it all. I’m craving something different. Fresh. Relevant. There is so much advertising around, every minute of every day (we’re said to be exposed to more than 350 ads per day on average). Why are so many brands barking at me with their deals and offers? It’s like they’ve created campaigns to serve themselves. Not to improve my life or solve my problems. Just push their “units” out the door faster.


When times are tough and consumer spending is down, we tend to cut the marketing spend. We pare it back to the essentials. We stop investing in experiences for our customers – and building connection with our brand. But if your marketing has delivered sub-par results in the past – or you don’t know what’s working – you’re hardly going to keep investing when times get tough. One fact remains, regardless of a buoyant or flailing economy, and that is this: awareness, connection and relevancy are what grows businesses, steals market share and brings repeat purchases.


Essential or “functional” marketing is important. The deals, sales and price wars can assist people in making quick decisions and choosing you over a competitor. But what about that other kind of marketing? The creative stuff. The brand stuff that takes a little more thought and consideration of who your market is, what drives them, what pains them, and what they aspire to be; the kind of marketing that allows a customer to make a deeper choice about your brand and what it stands for. The best marketing strategies have both kinds, running side by side.

Connection directly impacts a brand’s bottom line. “More than three quarters of consumers (76%) say they would buy from a brand they feel connected to over a competitor, and 57% say they are more likely to increase how much they spend with a brand when they feel connected.”*


So, what’s the competitive strategy in an economic environment where everyone is trying to grab a bite of the already-stretched consumer wallet? Stop just selling to them and instead bring a little joy to their lives or get them to their desired state faster. Think about not just the advertising but the channel you put it into. Driving all your marketing online because you think it’s “cheaper” leaves you competing in a super-saturated advertising arena where scrolling behavior is worse than ever and even the best ads get lost in the clutter. It serves a critical role, sure, but think bigger. At REACH we run digital campaigns all the time for clients, but what we push brands to consider is ALL the ways people move through their lives and to “show up” in these spaces with crafted creativity that draws in that perfect customer.


Don’t boil the ocean. Creativity does not have to be agency-level genius. If you think about most marketing, it’s rather bland. Your key message/the language you use/an experiential component that delights are enough to lift the experience. Change up that shouty flyer, or that constantly discounting social campaign – weave in customer stories about how their lives have improved; give away a collectible with that on-sale liqueur; create a VIP package as a direct mail campaign.

Show up in their lives in real world channels. Think outdoor placements – the “stressed mum” on the school run who needs dinner ideas. Think creative letterbox mailers – a tutoring voucher in the form of a kid’s chatterbox game; a scented fridge magnet with your beauty brand front and centre. Think right-fit radio ads that entertain or inspire. Know what your brand stands for and create from the customer need backwards.

Don’t break the bank. “But these ideas are so costly”, you say. Not if you know your market and you target them smartly. VIPs, future high-value customers, shopping behavior, geo-locations – there are many smart data services available these days for you to better understand your market at a data level and select marketing activities off the back of that.

Give it time to breathe, for goodness sake. This is not a fire sale. This is about creating connections, longer term preferences and being that brand of choice. So select some measures to check on after your initiative has run for a bit, then refine if need be and run again. Take a short, medium and long-term view of how marketing is working. Give your activities time – to learn and identify ways to measure the success of both types of marketing. Digital is easy, yes. Real-world marketing sometimes requires a bit more thought – but QR codes (yes, they’re still a thing), website traffic spikes, and good old voucher redemption can all play a robust part of your measurement. You can keep your business above water with just the essential marketing scramble, or you can think a little deeper about how to play a smarter role to growth by generating connections. Get a free consult:

77% of consumers are more likely to buy from brands that share the same values as they do. This statistic underscores a fundamental truth: customers don’t just purchase products or services; they buy into the stories, values and beliefs of brands that resonate with them on a deeper level.**

**Sprout Social

REACH provides NZ businesses with services across digital, letterbox, data analytics and direct mail from ideation to execution. (Heck, we even created a

whole sub-brand dedicated to creativity called REACHIMPACT.)


Your brand delivers an exclusive set of cocktail recipe cards to Magda's letterbox encouraging her to go in-store and redeem a cocktail wallet with her next purchase.


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