How to build effective ad communication with audience in 2022?

Pauline Volovik
12 min readMay 3, 2022


Now it’s getting more difficult to attract an audience, the competitiveness is growing, advertising is becoming more expensive, and the lowest barrier of entry in some highly competitive niches goes up so fast that it’s at risk of becoming inaccessible quite soon. ROMI is one of the key (if not the only key) metrics in marketing, and if your ad expenses are not paid off, or you do not observe any positive dynamics in this issue, you’d better think it over.

We all want to gain clients cheaper, have predictable order traffic, increase the visitor-customer conversion and the number of recurrent purchases.

Every person who clicks on an advertisement without committing a target action is a small step to a drained budget and lost client. In order to make the ice layer the business is walking on less thin and steps more firm, and channels are to be formed in a single system, structure, in addition to external communication changes.

And the way how to do it is going to be our today’s topic.

In this article, I will rely not only on my personal experience and market awareness, but also on the research Media Reactions 2021 by Kantar.

Modern media space trouble spots

Now, due to free access to information and saturation, users no longer express a particular interest in content, needless to say, be amazed by it.

Digital context has changed significantly. And it cannot go unnoticed by the industry specialists. The Kantar research has outlined and described three dilemmas existing in the modern market.

The digital dilemma

How can we increase user involvement and trust in the developing digital world?

The digital dilemma is about how to ensure the use of a complex and holistic approach to mass media as digital technologies are more integrated into consumers’ daily life, and more channels are becoming digitalized.

Pandemia has irrevocably changed our lives and gave a great boost to the development of the digital world. It made marketers face a dilemma of users’ positive ad perception decrease. The level of digital media content consumption goes up, and at the same time, it’s becoming more difficult to engage users without evoking irritation.

In 2021, specialists have detected dramatically positive dynamics of ad perception of those ad formats that used to be less popular. For example, ad perception in online and mobile games. For a long time, this ad format has been the least popular one among 22 formats in the research.

However, last year, the situation changed drastically. Modern users believe in-game ads to be “trustworthy” as well as “relevant and useful”. Similar situation with music and video streaming services.

Thus being quite a new phenomenon in the media arena in 2020, podcasts have already become the second-biggest ad platform. In 2021, they managed to grab the palm.

Digital collapse is noticeable even within separate digital media brands. TikTok goes on to hold the top place in a global rating of ad equity.

Similar to TikTok, the global boom has led to closer user attention to media brands such as Twitter and Snapchat. Twitter doesn’t change its fifth place in a global rating of ad assets. Another interesting consequence of this tendency is that the user perception of more stable and widely used ad platforms is less differentiated.

TV as a media channel and YouTube as a media brand act as examples of this change. The digital boom does not suggest that we are currently living in a fully digital world — only the fact that digital media are better integrated into our lives.

It’s worth understanding that audience involvement in the content will mostly depend on how and when this content is consumed. That is, we should rely only on the lifestyle and values of your audience.

The glocal dilemma

How to balance the benefits of media platforms globalization with the expectation of getting more relevant content from local mass media?

Global media brands seduce with their loud names and impressive influence. They attract both major international advertisers looking for consistency and local brands who use the benefits of impressive possibilities of targeted advertising.

On average, worldwide brands’ share is well over the share of the local ones. Although, there are separate markets (such as Argentina, Japan, Holland, South Africa) where the situation is diametrically opposite.

Therefore, local and regional giants should not be underestimated, as in 16 of 23 markets they are leading.

Among marketers, the online video ad is leading in every region, but there exist distinctions between preferred media channels. A TV ad is still popular everywhere, though a bit less in the Asia-Pacific region and Latin America, while marketers are especially positive towards streaming TV ads in North America.

Social media ad is popular everywhere, but less in North America. Attitude to radio is low everywhere but for Africa, while media online ad is popular in Africa, the Asia-Pacific region, and Latin America.

Influence content is especially popular with marketers from the Asia-Pacific region and Latin America. These regional variations accentuate a local element of acceptance and the relevance of even the most widespread marketing approaches in the world.

A balance between global scale and local relevance can be achieved through the selection of a relevant combination of global and local media partners.

Global media brands should invest in localization while local brands had better stand out by translating their authenticity and cultural susceptibility, otherwise, they risk finding themselves discounted in a highly competitive media market.

The innovator’s dilemma

How can media brands achieve balance between trust maintenance and innovation implementation?

The award-winning book “The innovator’s dilemma” by Clayton Christensen and his theory of disruptive innovations have changed the business approach to innovation forever. He suggests that companies cannot rely on supplementing innovations to existing products, they are to develop disruptive technology. Similarly, media plans require constant updates to incorporate the latest habits and tastes of consumers in the mass media field.

Marketers see this dilemma as a question of how many new and innovative platforms and formats they require, and how much they should rely on tested media. Instagram is a leader to cope with this task. YouTube, Google, and Facebook are believed to be reliable though less innovative platforms. TikTok has not succeeded in gaining the same level of trust, but last year it made a huge breakthrough in this direction and now remains the most innovative ad platform.

Marketers pay attention to such things as brand security, media transparency, and metrics, therefore, editors can gain the trust of marketers by investing their time and efforts in these initiatives.

Do not forget about the user perspective. In general, users’ preferences correlate with marketers’ opinions: for them, TikTok is an innovation leader, and Instagram and Spotify are in the top–3.

As for the channels, marketers especially trust TV and streaming ads, assuming podcast ads and influencer content are the most innovative formats. Though, consumers’ position is a bit different as they put trust in newspaper ads.

Notably, influencers are ranked the third channel on marketers’ trust, following TV and streaming services. It’s particularly interesting as influence marketing is a highly risky venture due to recurrent scandals around the most famous influencers.

By the way, I suppose that it’s the reason why these channels are the most demanded and effective for those markets where the institution of reputation among opinion leaders is absent.

These theses may appear odd, and many marketers or business advisors may object saying that in their case the most effective marketing campaigns were using absolutely different channels, but it’s essential to understand that every research implies a wide selection of people with various interests, location, cultural and linguistic base. If we take a specific niche, product, or selection of communication mechanisms for a specific target audience, the picture may look quite different.

The importance of media brand identity

Modern consumers are mostly concerned about excessive targeting in social media, online ads, and eCommerce. Advertisers using these channels must exercise restraint in targeting use and detalization, while editors must continue convincing the industry and general public about the ethics and security of their data operation methods.

Referring to communication ethics, marketers should think about the frequency of ad display and the message broadcast that does not provoke any anxiety or stalking in the target audience. To put it mildly, in communication, ethical boundaries are to be preserved, similar to personal communication.

Here, the NeedScope archetypes of brand individuality are worth mentioning. The axis “introvert-extrovert” being the basis of the concept correlates with the general innovator’s dilemma pretty well. More extrovert brands will likely want to correspond to the innovative media brands that are usually classified as Rebel, Hero, Free spirit, and Joker.

Be careful, introvert brands may attach greater importance to a reliable ad environment and may prefer to be associated with media brands with archetypes of Expert, Sage, Innocent, and Caring.

And the brand position itself must rely on the target audience and consumer expectations from communication. And here it’s crucial not to neglect a detailed description of consumer portraits.

The key to the innovator’s dilemma is in the understanding of your brand individuality archetype. Then you can decide how progressive you want to be in terms of the implementation of more innovative new channels and platform partners.

Media plans must be well-balanced between stable channels and new ones. That is, the reference points must be set in tested formats while new ways of audience communication are to be regularly tested in order to gain better results.


#1 Try not to differentiate online and offline. These two formats must complement each other, and go alongside. Offline users must be accompanied online, online users be transferred online. We thus broaden their possibilities of interaction with a brand, instead of creating local funnels separately for online and offline products.

#2 Attentive and ecological attitude to the audience is the foundation. Do not impose advertising messages on your audience. You must analyze how often and what content is published in order not to pester your audience and be transformed into white noise. For instance, in ad settings, the ad message can be configured in a way that it is not shown to a separate user more than a certain number of times.

Make sure an audience interaction with a brand is non-toxic!

#3 Work with a multichannel approach is possible and desirable. If you still choose only one or two channels of interaction — extend! Create possibilities for relinking and content exchange between platforms, although, do not force users to switch channels. To put it mildly, you extend the scope but make people change a familiar type of interaction. Provide each segment of your audience with a convenient user experience and options within a general marketing ecosystem.

#4 Reconsider all advertising messages of your company. Direct promo does not have a proper effect anymore. Primitive gross calls “buy, order, phone” work worse than valuable offers. Stand out from your competitors and create a unique life image for your brand. Try to focus on values instead of commercial benefits. Every business is sure to be initially about commerce. Although, if you attack people with commercial slogans and wording, you will only face disgust.

#5 Scaling is not always required. Sometimes niche market is about no fewer growth perspectives than the global one. Quality advertising communication does not always have to do with a great number of markets, audience groups, and social layers. Pursue your own audience. One can be highly demanded by several cities and regions, while the other may waste huge budgets trying to overcome tens of thousands of competitors on an endless global market. One should think about the geography of promotion and his priorities in this direction.

An ad message, in its turn, must be adapted to the environment you find yourself. Now, in ad communication, it’s not just a proper etiquette but rather a need, as you compete with local brands as well who are familiar with the local culture of consumption, work subtly with it, and can easily outrun you in this race. Therefore, if you work globally, do not neglect content localization and its adaptation to specific countries and regions.

In order to make your ad message truly effective and reach the audience in 2022, it must be relevant. Your campaign can be more local, but its message will not be general and without a clear recipient, rather more specific, clear, and valuable.

#6 Do not store all eggs in one basket. While choosing channels for communication, we should combine classical tested channels with trending innovations. On one hand, it’s not worth sinking or swimming and implementing all the novelties as any trend can burn out tomorrow, on the other hand, it’s better not to remain frigid and invest only in tested channels.

Alongside the emergence of new channels, we can notice the extinction of old ones. It’s similar to investment: you should have both classical and high-risk assets in your portfolio. The main thing is to know how to work them out.

#7 Use the content that affects different channels of perception. We can interact not only with a text or image. Provide your audience with the chance both to read a long message and get an info summary, or hear a podcast broadcasting your message.

Having a multichannel approach is not only about choosing channels for communication, but also about its formats. Try to affect different sensory organs. Different people have different lifestyles, and it must be taken into account while providing all segments with ways of content perception convenient for them.

#9 Create a single functional system of elements interaction in marketing. Do not prefer local channels of ad communication. Do not allow chaotic actions or local small campaigns without an evident target action. If you want your marketing to be truly effective, and investment expenses to be paid off, you’d better create a single system where all your channels for interaction are interrelated in order to save traffic attracted.

Let’s consider a situation with ad configuration leading to a site. If we configure advertising on the creation of target action after entering a site, with proper marketing, even if a person has not committed target action, a code for remarketing monitoring accompanies a given user to a desirable final result.

And it’s not about forcing a client to make a purchase and then forget about it, but rather about continuing cooperation with the help of various cross-sale, up-sale, and other tools.

The total number of audiences available is rather limited. And the more local the product is, the stronger these limitations are. And if we allow a user to commit a desirable action and leave, it means giving him to competitors.

Only functional systems enable larger returns of the means spent on advertising campaigns and make the clients attracted from various resources stay and keep in contact with a brand.


The most important thing is not only to implement recommendations locally but try and create a holistic system. Do not forget that a marketing campaign is an art of convincing and the creation of long-lasting dialogue between a brand and its loyal clients.

And I would like to know what conclusions have you made after discovering the results of the given research? What tendencies have you noticed or otherwise missed in the modern media market?



Pauline Volovik

Business and marketing, no bullshiting