We don’t consume media in isolation, so why plan it that way?
When it comes to marketing and communications planning, there’s a lot of talk about how brands can’t just broadcast messages out anymore. We are living in a brave new world where the consumer has the power over the brand conversation, and the broadcast model doesn’t work anymore. That’s all good, and you won’t find many people arguing the opposite.
But it’s not just stopping the broadcasting; it’s about recognising that your target audiences are actually people. We need to talk to people, not just key demographics. The reason the broadcast model doesn’t work anymore is because the way people consume media is fundamentally changing. We need to look at the shifting consumption habits when we think about how best to engage with these audiences.
The second you start seeing audiences as actual people and not just an age range then you realise that isolated channel thinking is ridiculous. How many people consume content from one channel in isolation these days? I watch live TV, read the newspaper and talk to friends on IM. And more often than not I do it all at once.
This is the reason that few social media campaigns work really well when they have been considered in isolation. People don’t consume media in isolation. The most effective campaigns are the ones that are delivered as part of an integrated effort. It’s effective because it allows people to seamlessly move through channels, engaging with content when and where they want to. It’s effective because it’s a much more efficient approach to marketing, maximising the reach of your content through multiple channels. Social media needs to be considered in the broader communications planning, not in isolation.
Because others are always more adept at being concise than I am, I’ll end with a quotation, from the ever succinct Nick Gill, that essentially sums up my somewhat rambling post into a lovely sound bite (it’s less than 140 characters too):
Consumers don’t separate their consumption; why do we continue to separate our marketing responses?