Who are you now?

Some years ago, the agency I worked for came up with a campaign for a financial client with the headline “with your world in mind”.

The premise was that they understood the world of high net worth individuals better than competitors so, to back that up, we came up with a media strategy which placed the ads in publications related to lifestyle and interests, not just financial journals.

I have been reflecting on the relevance of this in today’s online world, particularly given the rise of mobile technology, and the way it can be applied to our thinking around “content.”

The time spent by people consuming content has increased exponentially driven by devices like smartphones and tablets which are providing 24/7 connectivity and complete freedom of choice in what and how they consume content and when.

The irony is that it is becoming ever harder to attract people to relevant content and achieve cut-through, even whilst the time spent online is going up and offering more opportunities to communicate.

Going back to the basis of the financial campaign, we need to think not only about what content might be of interest to potential customers, but also what their persona is at any one time.

Take browsing for instance.

I have a range of news sites I access every day, as I like to keep up with current affairs.

So at that stage, I am in browsing mode, though within a regular portfolio of sites.

I also have a professional persona (in my case marketing) and keep up with a number of blogs, websites and individuals related to my subject.

These sites are regularly checked, but it’s hard to break into my trusted circle.

Then I might be in search mode where I’m looking for specific content – be it a product, or advice, or images or videos. There is a roster of search vehicles available and I’m probably more amenable to targeted content.

Staying connected to people and a circle of relationships through social media is another persona but, like any circle of friends and acquaintances, you have to be invited to join.

Finally, there is recreation time, which might be gaming, reading e-books, surfing for music and so on.

Now here’s the interesting bit.

“AIDA” tells us that successful selling consists of four stages: Awareness, Interest, Desire, and Action.

In the limited media landscape of the past, we had to try and hit all four, either in one ad or in advertising supported by direct mail.

If we combine AIDA with the different modes of the connected consumer outlined above, we find we don’t have to do all four at once any more.

We can serve up content related to each aspect of the selling/buying cycle dependent on which mode the consumer is in, and which roster of information points they are using.

Of course, the vital thing is to break onto the roster in the first place, which means creativity and impact to drive awareness are as important now as they ever were.

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