In marriage, being exclusive is a good thing. In marketing, exclusivity is a bad thing. To be successful today, marketers cannot be wedded to any one medium. They must utilize all avenues at their disposal.
That was the gist of the afternoon keynote address by Rebecca Lieb, an analyst with the Altimeter Group, on the first day of LeadsCon 2014 at the Marriot Marquis in New York City. Her topic, “The Converged Media Imperative: How Brands Must Combine Paid, Owned & Earned Media,” was particularly germane against the backdrop of the giant neon billboards of Times Square.
According to Lieb, those billboards represent one leg in the converged media stool: paid advertising or advertising a company pays for in print ads or billboards. Then there is owned media, which is content that a company generates on its website, such a blog. Thirdly, there is earned media, which is basically when a company is talked about in the traditional media space (such as broadcast news) or in social media.
Examples of converged media
For examples of converged media, one doesn’t have to look too far. Lieb pointed to Facebook and Google as models of converged media. A company can have a Facebook page or Twitter feed (owned media). On those outlets, it can embed sponsored posts (paid media). Then, its fans or visitors can dialogue around the company on Twitter or Facebook (earned media).
Yet converged media reaches beyond the online realm. Lieb used the example of the New York Giants football team that has asked fans to tweet during games in the stands. Those tweets were then shown on the digital crawl along the stadium perimeter. Fans could also participate by voting in contests displayed on the stadium’s Jumbotron.
Easier said than done
Admittedly, developing a converged media strategy is easier said than done, Lieb conceded. The first step is to truly understand what converged media is. From there, Lieb had these pointers:
- Make sure all communications on all channels are consistent. Fragmenting the message will only confuse the already distracted consumer.
- Be channel flexible and agnostic. Just because you used Instagram this year, doesn’t mean you must use it again next year.
- In an organizational sense, align all internal and external teams. Lieb pointed to one company, Intel, that merged its social media and global media teams.
- Optimize content that is working. Lieb termed this real-time marketing. Keep monitoring and analyzing KPIs.
- Be aware of behavioral trends and the needs of your specific audience.
- Keep up on the latest technologies. Smart watches are coming, Lieb says.
This article is brought to you by LeadsCon New York.
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