Cynthia Thurlow Cruver
Founder and Principal at 3rdPlus
Website Address: https://3rdplus.com/
Each week on “Media Champions,” our host talks to media experts across the country. This week our host speaks with Cynthia Thurlow Cruver from 3rdPlus. To learn more check out https://3rdplus.com/
What is the biggest change in marketing that you see coming in the next 2 years?
I think consumers are going to continue to be more choosy about how they allow themselves to receive marketing and so companies will need to focus even more on creating marketing that is palatable in each environment with messaging and content that is helpful to targets. Podcasting is a really good example of this… building trust through repetition and content with podcast hosts such as Suze Orman. When Suze recommends a fund or a financial institution, her listeners will act.
Are their any trade organizations or groups that you belong to?
As a vision driven company, my focus is on the non-profit senior living world, therefore my memberships are in LeadingAge Associations.
What is the advantage to working with an outside media buyer as opposed to having just an internal marketing director?
We have an internal media buyer. However, certainly the freedom of upscaling and downsizing as needed comes with an outside buyer.
What is one tip that you would give when it comes to media planning?
Because our marketing landscape is focused on generating leads, I have two pieces of advice: In the media plan, always have something that solicits a response. A vote, a piece of content, a share. So many times there is a campaign out there (in my industry) that advertises and then the ball drops. Give people a reason to raise their hand.
Secondly, trust but verify, especially with digital media outlets. At 3rdPlus we measure everything, including the lift across all channels when one channel is running. It’s in my DNA to be fair and not infrequently, we will get results back from news outlets reporting so much traffic and leads but because we’re measuring, we’re not seeing the same things and know the realities. There’s a trend in the senior living agency world for companies to dazzle their clients with algorithms and lead ranking within markets where the total universe is finite… like 30,000 prospects and they’ve got two sales people sitting and waiting to talk to a customer. The most effective lead qualification always comes from a live person, so in that respect, I recommend to my clients to focus their budgets in areas they know their customers live and rely on sales to vet the leads.
How does a media buyer stay on top of trends with media placement?
We watch (demographically) what our target prospects are doing and spend a lot of time interviewing and performing focus groups for our target markets to know where they are consuming media.