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Media and marketing has formed into a converged entity in today’s society, creating a challenging world for marketers and small businesses alike. Converged media means bringing together websites, search marketing campaigns, social media, tradeshows, offline customer service, and everything else into a single unifying experience that embodies the spirit of your brand and your company’s voice.
Whether a marketing campaign is offline or online is irrelevant to consumers; all that matters to them is what they consume. They care about your products, services, their overall experience. They want the experience of being your customer. Customers interact with a brand an average of 10.4 times before purchase. There’s a journey to purchase, a time where the customer is engaging in research, interacting with media, analyzing online and offline channels. Whether it was the ease of finding you in the search results, a beneficial email with promo codes and unique content, a useful and relevant blog post, or an incredible store layout with digital displays, these contribute to the experience a customer has.
Brands fail when there’s a disconnect between channels, when the experience they have in one market doesn’t match their experience in another. For instance, a customer finds an incredible store with incredible presence, displays, an aesthetically pleasing shop, great customer service. Then they go online to continue their experience and struggle to find a website or social media channel, and then, are massively disappointed to find that they can’t find products or are getting a completely different experience than they had in store. This is when brands fail.
So why is this so hard? Businesses aren’t listening to their customers; but the ones that do, win, and can win big. There are lots of reasons for this. For one, they don’t teach this in schools, meaning that the only ones who seem to understand the convergence of media are figuring it out for themselves. The old guard of marketing is stuck in the traditional marketing approaches from 20 years ago –but they don’t work anymore. They don’t incorporate the use of big data, analytics, social signals, mobile. Our job as agencies is to use the data to show customers what they need to be doing. We need to understand every channel and understand how to create an experience. And we have to speak the language of the C-suite – dollars, forecasts, spreadsheets (scary words for marketers).
Converged media is today’s marketing and it is tomorrow’s marketing. Figure out your brand, our your client’s brand, understand how to create a cohesive, unique experience a cross all channels, and you will win.
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