Allianz is an insurance company with 60 million clients in 70
Its target market, particularly for its risk management arm, is chief
executives and chief financial officers. So which media do you think it
turns to for its above-the-line work? Well, CNBC is a favourite option,
as you might expect. But so is The Discovery Channel. Similarly,
advertising on Eurosport sees UPS rubbing shoulders with Carlsberg and
It all used to be much more straightforward, didn't it?
Business-to-business companies advertised in business-to-business media,
while business-to-consumer products and services nestled comfortably in
consumer media. But things have changed.
As well as working from home, we now "home" from work, Martin Hayward,
the chairman of The Henley Centre, says. This could mean taking home a
laptop at the weekend to fine-tune a presentation and ordering your
groceries from an online supermarket between meetings on a week day.
Work and leisure time has become blurred and this is particularly true
for the international business community.
Businessmen and women are permanently switched on and can be contacted
instantly by phone and by e-mail. Hayward believes they're still
revelling in the novelty of this.
After all, it was only a few years ago that phones belonged on desks and
faxes played the part of e-mails.
Yet now we've been given the chance to be more mobile, the role of media
planners has become much tougher. And to stand out from your competitors
in international business media, more recently, has normally entailed an
overhaul in media strategy, rather than creative strategy.
Instead of taking that page in The Wall Street Journal Europe, why not
in National Geographic magazine? National Geographic has a far greater
reach within this community than many business-focused international
magazines, according to the latest Europe 2001 results.
In Asia too it is a popular read. Ipsos-RSL gave Campaign access to the
Asian Businessman Readership Survey (ABRS) - the sister survey to
European counterparts EBRS and CEBRS - which is featured on page six.
Two of the most popular reads among this audience in Asia are National
Geographic and the English edition of Reader's Digest.
But how does this audience respond to being contacted in their leisure
time? Surely some leisure time, particularly with family, should be
The key point is not to be intrusive. One of the advantages of
above-the-line advertising is that it can be seen when the user decides
it is a convenient time. However, e-mails and phone calls do not have
this function and, if done clumsily, can resemble pesky calls from
double glazing salesmen.
Hayward says: "I was phoned up by my bank at 9.30pm the other night.
Because it was at night, I wasn't really in the mood for chatting to
them." Hardly surprising, is it? Similarly, as most international
business people have at least 20 or 30 unwanted e-mail messages clogging
up their inbox every day, they are often in danger of being swamped by
badly-targeted messages which have been sent out randomly, Hayward
He points out that there is a certain amount of pressure associated with
being switched on all the time. "People haven't got used to turning
their phones off or not logging onto their e-mails. They have to learn
how to do it."
Just as business people have learnt how to incorporate new technology
into their everyday life, it seems they now have to ensure that it
doesn't become a double-edged sword, affecting tried and tested ways of
doing business. The ABRS results indicate that some international
business trips have been replaced by e-mail communication. All very
well, but what's happened to the good old-fashioned face-to-face contact
that used to be so vital to good business? Heading into recession means
that pressure on the bottom line intensifies. Business trips which were
once viewed as crucial may now be seen as an unjustifiable expense.
The international business media which are the strongest performers are
those that recognise how stretched their users are and can appeal across
a variety of different platforms.
Hayward gives a good example: "I use the Evening Standard twice a day -
once online to check the free online news service for the latest
business stories for two minutes; and then I buy it on the way home to
fill 30 minutes of boring travel time. I'm in completely different
mindsets for each, but the same media brand manages to appeal to
The ability to remember that, despite the telephone-number salaries,
chief executives are still human beings, is clearly working well for a
number of media brands - as well as for the advertisers which appear in