As advertisers move more of their budgets to emerging media, they need to ensure that they don’t end up putting the brand on the back seat.  Emerging or new media is now referred to as being at the end of a Media Long Tail. This concept describes how niche media, such as the uber choices of online and mobile content and communities, when combined, have more impact than mass media like TV.

In the last few weeks I have heard the following questions:

  1. What mix of activities will work best for my brand?
  2. How much do I invest in what emerging media? 

I start by saying the following things:

  1. Lets look at your budget and combine that with meeting your brand objectives.
  2. Web is not New Media. It is now more affective with the ever-consuming audience who lives it.
  3. Invest in TV for what it does best...Drive mass awareness. (unless you are on to infrequently) If you have a small budget you need to use TV for high impact awareness and drive to an experience that people will remember and talk about.
  4. Invest in Web for what it does best, which is mass awareness + brand participation which = affinity (people choose you because they love what you have given them)

When we are creating ideas (big and small) we should be looking for ways that media can amplify our core message and then how do we use that media so that consumers interact with our brands in a relevant way. In order to get there you need the following:

  1. The brand idea must always come first.
    The role of media is to advance the brand agenda. This means the contributions from individual media must flow together with complete clarity, so that at the moment of purchase decision, people have strong brand memories to call upon, clear associations and a sense of brand leadership. Think not what you should do with video, but what videos should do for you!
  2. Be media neutral and embrace a cross-media world.
    We have got away with working in silos in terms of audience and effectiveness measurement for far too long. Advertisers need a common currency to understand the effect of the various media, used individually or in combination. And creative ideas must now be developed to serve as the platform for multi-channel communications: from TV to in-store, outdoor to search keywords.
  3. Don’t forget scale.
    Reach is important.  The reach of TV, newspapers and outdoor are still at the center of advertising campaigns. The drive for engagement and the lure of the shiny object (SOS = Shiny Object Syndrome) have distracted advertisers from the necessity of delivering effective communications to a wide audience. Adopting a 'scalable engagement' approach requires mixing 'top down' interruptive advertising with 'bottom up' communications that start from an engagement and brand interaction or participation to deliver an integrated consumer engagement plan.

Looking at the big picture is important.  It will help you create a consumer experience that uses each of the media channels to their strengths and when not working in silos will allow us to create fluid conversation for the people we hope to convert at in store and online.

ON: Emerging Media + Media Long Tail = Buying Confusion via @jpenabickley