Addressable Attitudes

Smith, J. Walker
May 2005
Marketing Management;May/Jun2005, Vol. 14 Issue 3, p52
This article emphasizes the need for addressable media to improve marketing productivity. Addressable media are better address books because they link names and addresses to messages. Addressable media target specific people based upon the connection between individuals and their technologies, such as personal digital assistants or digital cable set-top boxes. Addressable media communicate to individuals, not to groups. So information about groups is a mismatch with the addressable media target. Information about the aggregate attitudes and behaviors of groups does not provide any guidance about what to say to a particular person. Addressable messages are not new to marketing. Direct marketing has long delivered individually targeted offers to specific names and addresses. Addressability is new only to media planning. In effect, addressable media apply direct marketing models to media communications. But addressable media need more than the demographics and behavioral models that guide direct marketing. Media communications build brands. To do this, marketers must understand consumer needs, preferences, interests and motivations. These are attitudes, so for addressable media to boost marketing productivity, information about the attitudes of individuals is needed. Or to put it another way, without addressable attitudes, addressable media are little more than a better black book.


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