The 3 Ps of The New Media Mix

Posted by Lucy Halliday On April 06, 2014

Over 50 years ago, the original marketing mix of the 4 Ps was coined, and ever since then most marketers have concentrated on how best to use the various elements: product, price, promotion and place. In those 50 years the Ps have multiplied, and many people now talk of 7 or even 8 Ps. Here at Mindshare though, we believe in simplicity, and as the world that marketers face in the 21st Century starts to become clearer after 20 years of change, we believe that in terms of media at least, it’s now time to think of just 3 Ps.

What are now media agencies started out as small arms of the major ad agencies: the TV guy in Mad Men, if you will. And when there were only a few different media to choose from, and only one or two choices within those, it made sense for media to be a sub-set of creative. But as channels and media became more and more diverse, negotiation and selection became increasingly important skill-sets and so specialist media agencies were born, with Mindshare at the leading edge.

But as we now face a world with not tens, or even hundreds of channels, but thousands, or even tens of thousands, negotiation is increasingly impossible. Instead, it’s really about selection, and that is something that can often be better done by computer programmes than by people. This is what has led to the first of the 3 Ps of modern media: programmatic. Often people take this to just mean the automated programmes which are used to select which ads should be targeted, and then buy those, but we believe it can also be taken as a philosophy as well.

It is a philosophy which means we put as much effort as we can into simplifying the process of selecting, buying and analysing media, both online and off. It involves using real-time or near real-time data to select media and channels. It means automating reporting as well as buying. And, as viewers increasingly become ad-blind, install ad-blockers and fast forward on their Foxtel IQ, it means that we drive efficiencies in terms of resource and spend which can be reworked elsewhere.

We invest the time and money saved in premium. This doesn’t necessarily mean we invest in what would traditionally have been defined as premium environments, but instead refers to content and experiences that provide a premium engagement for the brand, by cutting through clutter. These might include bespoke content around a TV sponsorship, both on air and online. It might be an augmented activation, which takes place both in the real-world, and also on multiple devices. Or it might mean deep integration with a ‘new media owner’, such as Rovio, Mighty Car Mods or Vevo.

All of these provide real opportunities to connect with customers in new and interesting ways, enabling our clients to meet business objectives by creating stories about their brands that people want to connect with.

Finally, and tying both of these areas together, we now buy media placements, rather than channels. This means that we select our strategic target audiences and then target them wherever they may be reading or watching content, no matter what the channel. We target readers of the Sydney Morning Herald in the paper and online. And we buy the two together. We target viewers of The Block on TV, catch-up and, if available, YouTube. And the same team buy all three.

By targeting and buying audiences rather than channels, we create further efficiencies which allow us to invest more time in premium and provide more data to feed programmatic. All of which helps us meet the marketing objectives of our clients, which haven’t changed for a lot longer than 60 years – build brands people love, and tell them about products they’ll want to buy.

Lucy Halliday