As we move into the beginning of this new year, one thing has certainly changed. The usually confident experts, none of whom predicted the year we just had, are a little more circumspect, adding a few more caveats. Still, trends and themes are out there, and for Sue Todd of Magnetic Media, they are worth paying attention to.
For one, Todd believes it’s time to pay more attention to attention.
“It is generally accepted that attention metrics tell a different story from reach and frequency, and increasingly, attention is being discussed as a significant way to layer in a media planning quality metric that is relative across channels,” Todd writes. “Mediatel covered this recently in an article by Total Media’s William Hamner-Lloyd.”
As the tenor of social media and third-party platforms continues to shift, true attention is even more important, I believe. Over-reliance on vanity metrics has taught us a harsh lesson, and attention — from the people you most want to engage — is worth seeking out.
One way to garner positive attention is through purpose-driven and partner-based marketing, which is definitely on trend this year.
“The last Magnetic event of 2020 was our virtual awards Spotlight,” Todd writes. “From Dulux to Department for Education, Voxi, Virgin and Sainsbury’s, the winners and runners-up showed incredible understanding of how to leverage and inspire the engaged and active audiences across magazine media platforms.”
“The trust that consumers have in magazine brands and editors’ instinctive ability to pinpoint what’s of relevance to their consumers is a powerful meeting of two drivers of change,” she continues.
Perhaps most importantly, Todd predicts “passions and positivity will prevail.”
“If the forecasters are to be believed, then at some point in 2021 – into 2022 at least — we are heading for our generation’s equivalent of the ‘Roaring Twenties,’” she notes. “This, for anyone not 100 years old or a fan of Downton Abbey, is essentially a prediction that after months of extended social abstinence we’re all going to go a little cray cray and embark on a period of substantial social interactions and expenditure.”
While that might not be entirely realistic, she believes “we will certainly see a lift in the public mood and it will be those sections of the population with the most optimistic outlook and greatest financial resilience that will be spending the hardest.”
We know positivity boosts some important attention metrics — Todd reminds readers of Hearst’s research on the power of positivity. It stands to reason that brands that focus on the positive will gain more favorable attention.
We saw in 2020 how content that supported reader passions had a big uptick, and that trend is very likely to continue. The giant rest button of last year made us take stock and re-engage in ways that are more true to ourselves — all in a positive light.
“So for 2021 consider hard the four P’s when planning your media campaign: Passions, Positivity, Purpose and of course, who has the Propensity to spend,” Todd advises “Watch out for more from the magazine sector to help brands navigate and access some of the most positive, passionate and attentive audiences in UK media.”