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Posted by Nate Elliott on June 29, 2011
A couple months ago I talked about the reasons interactive marketing is ready to lead your brand -- namely, that it offers scale that can compete with any other channel, it provides more depth than any other channel, it’s more trusted by consumers than any other marketing channel, and it provides marketers a richer storytelling palette than any other channel.
The logical next question is: If interactive is ready to take the lead, how do we make that happen? A lot of people think budget is the answer; they say if we simply push more spending online we’ll have a better chance to leverage interactive tools. But I’m not fixated just on budget, for two reasons. First, more than 70% of marketers are already taking budget out of traditional channels to fund new interactive spending -- so this budget shift is already under way. But second, and much more importantly, is the fact that simply pouring more money into interactive tools won't fix the flaws in how companies develop their marketing programs.
For me, leading your brand with interactive marketing isn’t about choosing one channel over another; it's about rethinking how all our marketing channels work together. The way we "coordinate" our marketing channels right now is broken: Even today, most marketers develop their TV ads first and then hand them to the interactive team and hope they can build a site or a banner campaign that matches. As we've all seen, this rarely works well.
It’s time to replace this old-fashioned TV-first model of campaign development with one that starts by focusing on our deepest, most trusted marketing channel: interactive. It’s time for us to start building multilayered brand ecosystems that put interactive tools at the core:
When you put the three pieces together, your interactive brand ecosystem might look something like this:
I'm excited about this new model for building brand campaigns, and I hope more marketers start thinking about their marketing programs this way. We've published a report that goes into much more detail on these ecosystems, and right now we're using this model to help clients around the world plan how their brand will reach customers and how to make all their marketing channels work together.
I'm curious: Do you build ecosystems like this to reach your customers, or have you seen marketers that do? (My favorite right now is the Porsche Everyday Magic campaign in the US, for which they've built a great UGC site and are using lots of social and paid media to spread the brand message and drive users back into the ecosystem.) If not, how do you plan your cross-channel marketing campaigns -- how do you make sure all the different pieces work together effectively? I'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.