The Future Waits For No One.

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The Value of a Number


When it comes to developing strategies, what is the value of a number? While data plays a significant evaluative role, in most cases it is merely a demographic snapshot of today and only a starting point for projecting tomorrow.

Media planning, for example, appears to have become overly focused on circulation numbers and rating points to the extent that the role and importance of people in the equation is often reduced to, say, adults, 25 to 54, with a household income of $75,000 or more.

Anthony Crupi for Media Week recently reported that State Farm Insurance would soon have a strong presence on the ever-so-popular kids network, Nickelodeon. This seemingly unusual strategy is supported by research indicating that 33% of parents with kids under the age of six co-watch programming; they are much more attentive viewers when it comes to their kids’ programs, and, most importantly, kids are far less likely to change the channel during commercial breaks.

Brands like McDonald’s and Ford have already been marketing to this “over-the-shoulder” segment, often targeting specific family behavioral dynamics like eating at fast food restaurants. However, State Farm is the first from the insurance category. Its partnership with Nickelodeon will involve 30-second spots and ads promoting a 50-market Nick live tour, along with an online and magazine presence. Creative will focus on the auto insurance business and will remain relevant to the target by continuing State Farm’s “feel-good” tone.

This State Farm strategy is shaped largely by the changing viewing habits of children’s programming, and analysts are expecting other insurance providers, along with banks and more automotive companies, to soon follow suit in hopes of engaging with families.

This combination of evaluating demographic data and insight to human behavior is a great example of what it takes to create a strategy that not only reaches consumers, but also connects with them.

As the world becomes further segmented and consumers are offered countless choices in the marketplace, numbers alone will not determine the strategy. It’s a three-dimensional understanding of who they are that will move brands towards a deeper, more significant relationship with the consumer.