Have you gotten the news? Integrated marketing is the way
Over the past month I have conducted a series of separate private interviews with senior C-level and above marketing, advertising and media buying executives. The verticals that are considered home to these executives are national in scope but limited in size of the market, across both B2B and B2C segments.
One would have thought that by now that publishers of all sizes would have gotten the message that they must offer more to the advertiser and in turn to the reader or "user" (user is my preferred term). Yet, if you believe what I have been told—and I have no reason to doubt what I have been told in these private interviews—the smaller publishing groups tend not to offer the expanded services needed to remain valid in the world of media. In some cases the largest publishing groups do not offer these services either.
Most of the publishing groups mentioned in my interviews offer supportive services such as a digital option, interactive links via the digital option and other related digital support, but none seem to offer such basic integration as data gathering, big data evaluation, scientific marketing techniques, integration of all media (i.e., print, digital, direct mail, email, social media, video emails, trade shows, events and targeted marketing), personalized publishing/branded content and perhaps most of all when it comes to measurement tools, analytics.
Services, by the way, that the advertiser is willing to pay for, they know they have a need to integrate, for which they are looking for a partner, a collaborator and an associate to assist them in defining the correct tools and media to use.
To verify the details of my conversation I called the advertising reps of four of the verticals covered under my information gathering interviews. I was told by all in nearly the very same words, “we of course offer a full set of options and integrated media services.” But their definition of integrated media ends at the digital option—I was told if my client was interested in integrated media and longer-term print media contracts, “other” options would be soon made available.
Soon? What is soon—2015, 2020? What about now?
I asked the media reps if they could assist me in developing a program to establish dialogue and extend the conversation with my clients' customers, Oh, yes, we can, they said—we can add a QR code and social media links to your ad, and run more ads, and that should do it!
Huh? We live in a world of integrated media, media that should be relevant to the reader and to the advertiser's desire to target a specific reader/user across multiple channels. But that only seems to be the case in the big media, the international media—and maybe not always there either.
I don't think that all medium-size media groups are included within my scope of comments. I may have just hit a very bad vein of pyrite, fools gold, but in the end even if a few publishers do not have the scope to offer the expanded services needed, then all publishers—and the very concept of print-related and all non-digital media—will be severely damaged.
We are all in this together; creative, marketing, publishing, providers of new media, and digital and print. If we all don't look to integration then we will all lose. Integration, media convergence or trans-media, as the broadcast market calls its newest shift, is the next step forward—a step that is not reserved for the "big guys." It is for all.
Think Integrated, think convergence. Or as they say in Latin: in integration illic est ususfructus , in ususfructus illic est integration!
(Need the translation? Email me.)
Thad Kubis is an unconventional storyteller, offering a confused marketplace a series of proven, valid, integrated marketing/communication solutions. He designs B2B or B2C experiential stories founded on Omni-Channel applications, featuring demographic/target audience relevance, integration, interaction, and performance analytics and program metrics.