Advertising is Dead, and So Is the Customer was the headline on CNN Business this week. The headline didn’t get a lot of attention because we’ve all heard that line before. Advertising is dead, print marketing is dead, radio is dead; they’re all considered dinosaurs in the age of ‘real-time’ marketing and brand campaigns. The customer connection is no longer associated with one-dimensional, ‘traditional’ advertising but with engagement and interactions. So what’s next? What’s the future of advertising if traditional media is dead?
Integrated Advertising Revisited
Any Scottsdale advertising firm will tell you that traditional advertising is not dead, it’s just used in a different way. Everything must evolve, and advertising methods are no exception. Though the same so-called ‘dinosaur’ platforms such as print and radio are still being used, they are being used in a far more creative and integrated way.
Yesterday we spent some time reviewing what integrated advertising and marketing campaigns are. From a professional marketing firm’s perspective, these campaigns are the future of advertising. From a business owner’s perspective, they are new and scary territory.
At Quaintise, we view integrated advertising as the single greatest way to build relationships with your audience, build brand awareness, and build credibility, trust and ultimately brand equity with a target audience. When a brand can integrate advertising on every level, targeting multiple platforms and audiences with the same message, they have the ability to increase overall awareness and build a solid relationship with ‘customers,’ turning them into fans and brand advocates.
The Future is in The Relationship
The future of advertising is not about getting a customer to purchase a product or service; it’s about building a relationship with fans, thus creating brand advocates who are far more than just shoppers who buy your product when it goes on sale.
According the CNN, advertising agencies don’t feel like they are selling anymore. They are building long-lasting, deep relationships with “people.” They don’t even talk about “customers” anymore. “Customer” is patronizing and in the brave new world of “Creativity” everyone is on a level playing field – they are in a relationship, a platonic one of course but a deep, meaningful relationship.
How to Integrate
Since we know that the future of advertising is integration and relationships, we need to determine how exactly to accomplish this. We’ve put together a small list of steps to getting off on the right foot to build your fan relationships with integrated advertising:
1. Define Your Brand Message – With every marketing and advertising campaign you embark upon, the very first step is to sit down with your team and determine what your brand message will be. This is done after an evaluation of market research and results, industry competition analysis, and detailed assessment of who your audience is and how they will respond to the brand. The problem (aka: what you want to do as a business) must be fully understood before you can move to the solution.
2. Begin Brainstorming Solutions – Integrated advertising doesn’t happen overnight. The most effective methods are sometimes imagined along with a sea of other possibilities. Spend some time, a lot of time, brainstorming solutions to the problem at hand. Collaborate with other team members, carry around a notebook for inspirational moments, and create a welcoming environment at meetings that facilitates creative thinking.
3. Start At the Beginning – Deciding what media platforms and advertising methods to use is not the first step, we can’t stress this enough. For the purposes of breaking down the process of integrated marketing, we’ve placed media selection at number three, but many Scottsdale advertising firms won’t even consider this step until far into the process.
4. Cross Pollination – When the media platforms have been realized and agreed upon, the focus must shift to how the brand can optimize a fan’s experience across multiple channels and interactive mediums.
5. Media/Fan Understanding – One of the last steps of integrated marketing involves a complete and supreme knowledge of the audience and the media platform that the brand will be using to advertise with. Each medium, whether it is radio, TV, online vide, or social media, comes with its own unique audience. It’s imperative that you understand how an audience perceives and responds to each medium, as well as exactly who that audience is that uses each platform.
A brand cannot make the mistake of using the exact same advertising method across multiple platforms. The campaign must be seamless and consistent, yet unique for each audience experience across each form of media.
Integrated advertising can be overwhelming, so look to the best in the business when you’re ready to go big.