Cross-media communication is more than just hype—it is the future of the graphic communications industry. The formerly manageable world of marketing that primarily used print and mass media has exploded into countless choices related to cross-media communications. Familiar media has been augmented with the rapid run-up of mobile, social, online and interactive media. All of these new channels create demand for more media integration and new marketing approaches, and that means greater operational complexity for graphic communications service providers who want to participate in these new business areas. More importantly, it also creates a tremendous opportunity for those willing to step up to the challenge.
Cross-media campaigns are designed to engage consumers and get them more actively involved.
From a definitional standpoint, cross-media communication is the all-encompassing term for broadcasting one marketing campaign across a spectrum of media formats. It literally means to “cross media” by taking one campaign and distributing it to a multitude of channels.
Cross-media refers to the integrated experiences across multiple media types (including print, online, social, mobile and broadcast) to deliver more targeted campaigns with measurable results. The new aspect of cross-media communication is the experience, and that involves a high level of audience interactivity. Cross-media campaigns are designed to engage consumers and get them more actively involved. Marketers that successfully engage their customers will be rewarded with higher brand awareness and consumer ownership of their brands. The waters remain uncharted for both marketers and service providers, but it is time to get on the boat and start the journey.
According to industry statistics surrounding the adoption of new media, SMB’s / SME’s need to quickly rebuild their strategies to participate in a market that wants to blend print, mobile, social and online media. The data tells the story:
- As of December 2010, Facebook had more than 500 million active users.
- LinkedIn reported over 85 million members in 200 countries as of November 2010.
- Twitter has over 106,000,000 registered users. In total, Twitter users generate an
- average of 50 million tweets a day—this is more than 600 tweets per second.
- YouTube views exceed 2 billion each day.
- More than 300 million Americans are mobile subscribers.
- In the U.S. alone, over 2.5 billion text messages are sent each day. This represents a significant increase from the 450 billion total SMS text messages that were sent in 2009.
- Mobile SMS has a 95% read rate and a 15% response rate versus averages of 1% for traditional media.
- By the end of 2011, Nielsen projects there will finally be more smartphones than feature phones in the United States.
In October 2010, InfoTrends conducted an in-depth study entitled Capturing the Cross-Media Direct Marketing Opportunity. The marketers that participated in this survey highlighted the shift toward not only using more electronic and online marketing, but also more channels.
Survey results indicated that marketers are using an average of 2.7 media channels per campaign. Each choice counted as one media type, and examples included direct mail, e-mail, blogs, social media and radio.
The use of multiple media types in a single campaign represents an increased understanding by marketers that direct marketing is more effective when a campaign is designed to leverage the use of print, mobile, Web, and social media in an integrated and targeted fashion.
Then it’s important to look at today’s consumers. Recent studies have confirmed that the average consumer in a developed country can actually be reached on an average of 7.2 personal channels. The typical consumer utilizes the following channels on a regular basis:
- A landline phone
- A mobile phone (this counts as two channels when you consider voice and text!)
- A Skype account
- A Facebook account
- A Twitter account
- A personal and business e-mail
- Membership in online forums with private messaging facilities (e.g., LinkedIn)
- A home address for traditional mail
All of these channels need to be combined with mass media, including catalogs, magazines, signage, events, and traditional broadcast media.
Cross-Media or Bust: It’s Time to Retool!
Print can be effectively blended with online, social, and mobile channels so that campaigns behaved the way that marketers wanted them to. Today’s marketer is seeking a services partner that can help create the best blend of media that will support:
- Generating new leads
- Qualifying leads
- Nurturing existing leads
- Direct selling
- Cross-selling to existing customers
- Up-selling to existing customers
- Nurturing existing customers
- Generating referrals
- Education on product and service offerings
Marketers have clearly acknowledged that they have to be where their customers are.
Customers must be able to access brands wherever they want and however they want. If a consumer wants to shop with a mobile device in the palm of his hand, that’s where the marketer needs to be. Whether on a community Website or a mobile device, marketers need to ensure that customers receive best-in-class service regardless of how they want to shop or where they are.
Customers must be able to access brands wherever they want and however they want.
In December 1998, the headline on the cover of Fortune magazine provided corporate readers with a stark choice: “INTERNET OR BUST!” The article inside, authored by Gary Hamel and Jeff Sampler, was no less stark in its message: “Somewhere out there is a bullet with your company’s name on it. Somewhere out there is a competitor, unborn and unknown, that will render your business model obsolete.” Given the rapid adoption and acceptance of cross-media communications, I believe that a “CROSS-MEDIA or BUST” mantra holds true for all business.
By Barb Pellow – Published: December 9, 2010
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