Touche!’s Oumaima Tahiri’s fresh approach to media

How the media strategist helped client Mark’s from losing brand awareness.

Oumaima TahiriThis story was originally published in the 2022 Spring issue of strategy magazine.

Oumaima Tahiri thinks most people would describe her as a “ball of energy.” She speaks quickly – almost breathlessly – peppering her words with laughter to convey her genuine excitement at being named a 2022 New Establishment: Media winner. Her supervisor at Touché!, Antoine Nguyen, describes her a little differently: “strategic with panache.” Both are accurate descriptions.

Tahiri is relatively new to the media industry, having started at the Montreal-based agency a little over two- and-a-half years ago after graduating from university. Since then, the media strategist has attacked her work with unbridled enthusiasm.

When her client Mark’s underwent a massive re- positioning in 2021 to create more awareness of its casualwear, Tahiri was pivotal in shaping its success. The retailer sought to rebrand itself with the “All Things Simple” campaign, which showed how even basic wardrobes can be versatile. While the creative concept was solid, Tahiri realized that Mark’s needed more media weight to build momentum – which meant a bigger budget. Tasked with convincing Mark’s CFO to increase media dollars, Tahiri built an awareness model that eventually sealed the deal and secured an additional 20% to the media budget.

Using the model she was able to demonstrate how consumers feel about the brand, as well as understand the actual impact of the media investment, based on each channel and in terms of message retention for a single exposure. From there, she was able to look at the different weighting of each channel and found that it was possible to improve the impact of the message when it came to recall, not just simply reach.

“The base of the framework already exists. But the way that we make it better is to adapt all of the data points and variables to reflect Mark’s media and consumer reality,” she says, adding that the model she created takes into account the awareness and performance data specific to the client and campaign. “It’s really customized.”

Tahiri says the agency was able to pinpoint when Mark’s Fall campaign, “All Things Footwear,” should launch and helped to convince the client to add additional dollars around its holiday program, “All Things Holiday.” Touche! found that if the brand didn’t follow its Fall campaign with another one during the holidays it would lose all of the awareness it had created earlier in the year. Additionally, with the help of Tahiri’s model, the agency convinced Mark’s to allocate more dollars to OOH.

The awareness model is just one of the tools in the media strategist’s arsenal when it comes to planning brand campaigns. “I’m always trying to think of ways to do media differently, be more strategic, bring lateral ideas and different ways of looking at things to solve problems.”

She’s also passionate about helping others discover a career they may find equally rewarding, and is actively involved with recruiting at the agency and also speaks to students considering careers in media.

Tahiri may only be a few years into her career in media, but she has her sights set on a leadership position one day, which Nguyen says is possible, given that “she has an uncanny ability to rally people and influence them, thanks to her magnetic personality.”