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B.E.M. — What Is It? And Why Do You Need To Start Using It?

Posted by Ron Jacobs on April 3, 2020

To begin with... put your audiences first.

Why? Because the digital world thinks audience first, not media first. Grouping online audiences by demographic produces very narrow targets that do not necessarily represent a brand's most productive audience. We call potential consumers who do not fit a rigid demographic profile "valuable wastage."

A recent analysis for a blue-chip client revealed that 35% of its sales came from valuable wastage, or consumers outside its broad 18-34 target, and a whopping 50% of sales came from outside its 18-24 bullseye.

If this client had relied on demographic targeting alone, it would have severely limited its brand awareness and sales potential. Not to mention the fact that campaign results would have been poor, causing the agency and brand to question anything (and everything) from messaging, to pricing, to creative.

This is not a unique example. Many brands realized that over-targeting brand loyalists (or people who look like them) was restricting their ability to reach new growth audiences.

So how can the industry overcome this problem? Dropping targeting altogether is equally likely to produce waste. Instead, the answer lies in a productive middle ground between mass reach and segmentation targeting, where more productive audience models can be built based on Behaviors, Emotions and Moments. In the BEM approach, demographic data should be used only to remove outliers.

Powered by consumer data, the BEM approach helps us understand:

BehaviorsHave consumers demonstrated (or exhibited proxy behavior) that indicates interest in a specific or related product area? Have they actively sought out or mentioned a particular product or service?

Emotions: Has a particular product or service suddenly become more relevant? Are consumers posting emotional responses that suggest they would be receptive to certain brand messages?

Moments: Has a trigger like weather, transportation snarls, or other live events caused a product or service to become suddenly relevant? Has the consumer entered a specific location where helpful products are easily available?

The B.E.M. model allows planning and buying teams to improve targeting and tailored messaging by combining programmatic buying with new data sources and triggers including conversation scrapes, content emotion analysis and real-world factors.

Layered on top of brand-building activity that may deliberately have a broader reach, BEM targeting can identify consumers moving into a consideration phase and speak to them directly with relevant messages. The results can be dramatic. Brand preference and purchase intent lift can nearly double when compared to traditional demographic targeting.

Maybe the best example of all is the start-up company Casper. They remind us that most disruption is not about cool technology, gimmicks or gadgets. It’s about delivering a better product and better customer experience. In this case, it is about sleep. Casper rethought the entire customer journey from creation (it’s a patented design) of the product into how it’s purchased, then how it’s delivered into a home.

And they’ve done it better than anyone else in the category.

Sleep on that.

Find out how J&C can help you start using the B.E.M. approach. The result will be better retention and better business outcomes.

Contact me at dquigley@jacobsclevenger.com. I’ll show you how we’ve helped other companies like yours do the same.

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Topics: Customer Experience

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