Content Plus Three Equals Integration
While content such as TV programs, commercials, articles, websites, social media, and anything marketers use to attract and engage consumers has always been the driver behind consumers’ brand interactions, lately it's “all the rage,” thanks to an increase in providers and outlets from which to receive content.
According to Nielsen’s 1st Quarter 2010 Three Screen Report, for example, the typical American consumes more than 35 hours of TV, more than two hours of time-shifted TV, almost four hours of internet content, 20 minutes of online video and four minutes of mobile video per week. Consumers, it seems, are adding platforms rather than replacing them.
So how do marketers effectively stay atop this torrent of content? They integrate their message communication. The very survival of their brands depends on it. Marketers can no longer rely on stand-alone message delivery platforms and efforts. Rather, they must integrate horizontally on the basis of content.
Integrating your video arsenal is a good, easy and almost necessary first step. But effectively combining TV spots with interactive and mobile is more than buying media and creating commercials and landing pages; it's using online channels to extend the reach of TV in a way that recognizes that viewing today encompasses more than an offline screen.
Integrating the three screens
Focusing solely on the three screens (TV, internet and mobile) and integrating these channels requires the use of front-end components that do the following:
- use multiple touchpoints to surround consumers in a 360-degree-type approach;
- offer a seamless experience in support of the brand/product; and
- are relevant to consumers and meet expectations.
This is especially important as consumers pass through the three different stages of the development cycle in their engagement with a brand — the decision process, communicating and purchasing.
At minimum, there are three technically sound types of placements for gaining more mileage from TV spots across both the internet and mobile applications. They include the following:
Tier one: natural placements. These are placments that coincide with offline placements such as a TV or radio station’s website.
Tier two: relevant placements. Here, a product or service is matched to relevant content/areas such as Google and mobile optimized applications.
Tier three: tertiary placements. These are no-cost opportunities such as a company website or YouTube.
Establishing and understanding the goals set forth for a campaign determines the approach to take in buying the right media, too. Quantity isn't what matters, it’s quality. The key driver is maximizing the effectiveness of the placement, not overall efficiencies. Narrowing placements based on relevance creates better economy of scale and resonance with consumers.
Keeping a brand or product message consistent across platforms provides a seamless experience. It enhances the brand and helps meet expectations for relevance. Being consistent also provides a good jumping-off point to social media, search engine optimization and search engine marketing, while supporting other media running in tandem.
Using different response devices to capture information at the first stage in the consumer development cycle is a critical step. Using unique URLs, phone numbers and text opens the gateway to the purchase funnel. Remember, too, the back end also needs to be equally sound. A website or landing page must be consistent with the brand’s messaging and look and feel, easy to navigate, and provide a simple response mechanism.
Understanding today’s environment and online opportunities provides an excellent way to extend one’s multiplatform media investment in a manner that's trackable, measurable and cost effective. Integration is critical to a marketer’s survival. Developing and executing a strategy for content integration is the necessary approach to giving consumers what they want, when they want it and how they want it.
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