Relevance of Cross-Media Management

What is today’s Relevance of Cross-Media Management in Marketing Communications?

 Well, coming up with new media and a changing consumer behaviour many companies or brands try to answer this question. Today the choice of the right and effective communications strategies and especially their implementation has become increasingly important for brands, companies or organizations and products. The reasons for this are diverse. One important reason is the growing rejection and fade-out of advertising messages through recipients due to the increased flood of information as a result of digitalization and the evolution of a communications society. This leads to a loss of company or product advertising messages. Did you know that you get more than unbelievable 3000 advertising messages a day? This flood of information is the consequence of a misunderstanding of awareness and communications needs. Another reason is the individualization of consumers. To delight consumers with a product or a brand becomes more challenging and can only be done successfully by changing the advertisements and the offers towards the consumer’s needs as they are looking for services and products which are individualized.

“The role of recipients changes (…) from a mere receiver of advertising to a role as an actor”

Advertising can gain acceptance particularly if it does not bother but rather enables a dialogue or brings a benefit. We as consumers wish to get need-oriented information at the right moment, don’t we? The current advertising flood however triggers the following three reactions resp. effects on side of the consumer: reactance, zapping or wear-out effect. This means that consumers either have an increasing antipathy against massive advertising, or they consciously avoid advertising or tiredness against repeated advertising can be determined. Due to the advertising overload and the reactance of advertising through the consumer the role of recipients changes more and more from a mere receiver of advertising to a role as an actor.

The challenge for companies is now to achieve a direct dialogue on an individualized consumer level – and that sounds easier than it is. The use of cross-mediality could be the answer. As the consumers have a multi-optional media usage, which changes frequently and underlies his altering moods, it becomes more and more important for companies to gain a cross-media linked dialogue. This dialogue needs to interact through diverse media and has to be target-group addressed. Another factor that influences the cross-media orientation of advertising is the convergence of digital media, which means the compensation or extension of functions of one media vehicle through the comparison of a function of another media vehicle. Relating to the advertising market this means that communications instruments cannot longer be associated from each other but rather need to be linked media comprehensively to use the convergence of media.

“They need to have the ability to decide on their own when and how to get in contact with a brand or a company”

Let’s have a further look at the target group. Because of the importance of cross-mediality of advertising can also be reasoned by the increasing mobility of the target-group. A growing part of the society is oriented towards mobility, which is for example due to home office or mobile working systems. To reach those parts of the society optimal advertising campaigns need to link communications instruments and incorporate cross-media instruments such as outdoor, radio or mobile advertising. These changes lead to the question of how to optimize communications in a way that consumers who decline advertising can be reached and the ineffectiveness of traditional advertising is compensated. The answer of how to reach the customers is quite simple: they need to have the ability to decide on their own when and how to get in contact with a brand or a company. The initiative of the dialogue is transferred from the company towards the consumers. Pre-condition of this one-to-one dialogue is the possibility of interaction. Companies need to communicate in a way, that consumers get the feeling of advertising as being necessary. The competence of an organization and its cross-media strategy lies in the ability to combine various direct communications instruments in some kind of way that consumers receive the right tailored messages regarding to a product or brand in the right moment. In summary it can be said that is has become more and more important for organizations for a long-term success to be in an intelligent, creative and effective dialogue with its consumers. For this dialogue the mix of various cross-linked communications instruments via diverse media vehicles needs to be used and the dialogue needs to serve the consumers wish of tailored information with a personal utility value.

 An example – Opels cross-media campaign “Change your Mind”

Let’s show you a cool example of the German car manufacturer ‘Opel’ to illustrate the implementation of a cross-media campaign. It tries to implement a cross-media strategy to encourage its image and a positive reputation with their campaign, called “Change your mind”. Opel combines different above-the-line and below-the line instruments within the campaign. The respective communications instruments are presented in within the following figures.

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To achieve a better result, Opel had a cool idea and the campaign was launched with a teaser phase in which the sender was hidden with the objective to build an arc of suspense. Later, in a reveal phase, Opel was revealed as sender and detailed information were given to the consumer.

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To boost sales, Opel moreover uses sales promotions and point of sale advertising that convey the central theme of the “Change your mind” campaign. In general you have to know that there are eight cross-media elements correspondent to Mahrdt, which are important for a successful cross-media campaign. Three of these (red) have to be fulfilled and the others should be fulfilled. In the following, Opel’s campaign is evaluated on basis of these elements.

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Opels “Change your mind“-campaign fulfilled all these eight elements. And now it is up to you guys: Do you think that Opel, related to these elements and their communications instruments implemented a good cross-media-strategy? And all in all, what do you think – is it relevant to act cross-medial to be a successful and competitive brand in today’s mobility and interactive society? Well, let’s think about it and feel free to discuss!

Cheers,

Doreen Lusga and Friederike Antonia Krull


References:

Opel [opel.com], 2013, Year in Review 2013. Facts and Figures, http://www.opel.com/content/dam/Opel/Europe/master/hq/en/15_ExperienceSection/02_AboutOpel/company/facts_figures/Opel_Facts_and_Figures_2013_EN.pdf, Last accessed on 23.10.2014.

Opel [opel.de], 2014, Neue Markenkampagne: Opel animiert zum „Umparken im Kopf“. http://www.opel.de/selbststaendige-grosskunden/news_grosskunden_themen/2014/03/flotte_umparken.html, Last accessed on 03.11.2014.

Mahrdt, N. (2009): Crossmedia. Werbekampagnen erfolgreich planen und umsetzen. [1. Auflage]. Wiesbaden: Verlag Gabler.

Mattgey, A [wuv.de], 2014, So profitiert Opel im Social Web von “Umparken im Kopf”, http://www.wuv.de/digital/so_profitiert_opel_im_social_web_von_umparken_im_kopf. Last accessed on 02.11.2014.

Meffert, H, Burmann, C, Koers, M, 2005, Markenmanagement. Identitätsorientierte Markenführung und praktische Umsetzung. Wiesbaden: Verlag Dr. Th. Gabler. List of Literature and Sources 89

Meffert, H, Burgmann, C, Kirchgeorg, M 2008, Marketing. Grundlagen marktori-entierter Unternehmensführung; Konzepte – Instrumente – Praxisbeispiele, Wies-baden: Gabler Verlag.

Esch, FR 2010, Strategie und Technik der Markenführung, 6th edn, München: Verlag Franz Vahlen GmbH.

Clow, KE & Baack, D 2010, Integrated advertising, promotion and marketing communications, London: Pearson.

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8 thoughts on “Relevance of Cross-Media Management

  1. To raise awareness of your brand you need to get your message to number of different people & you can’t do that with only 1 or 2 forms of advertising so of course cross media strategies make sense. That way you can get your message to a lot of different people in diferent ways – reach & frequency.

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  2. Thank you for your comment! 🙂 You’re totally right. That’s why cross-mediality becomes more and more important. But there are still not enough companies which operate cross-medial. I think one reason is that there is a lack of know-how. Do you think it is a good way of communication for a repositioning and improvement of a company’s image like Opel did it?

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    • I guess whether or not cross mediality is a good way to communicate, depends on the outcome & whether or not you achieved what you wanted to. The Astra was sold here as a GMH car a few years ago. I wonder why they chose to go it alone as such & not remain “under” GMH? Something to do with the pereception that european cars were better or just trying to increase their overall market share?

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  3. With respect to cross-mediality in general, it can be said that the relevance is increasing. On the one hand, this can be ascribed to the progressing digitalization and the cohering convergence of media. On the other hand, the evaluation of a communications society leads to a changing media usage behavior on side of the consumers so that cross-mediality gains in importance. Opel’s “Change your mind” campaign verifies that the campaign can definitely be defined as cross-medial: All criteria and elements of cross-mediality are fulfilled, even those which do not necessarily need to be implemented.

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  4. hey nkraskov, thanks for your interesting comment! The reason why they chose to go it alone as such and not to remain under GMH is not that there is the perception that european cars were better. Opel was one of GMH’s brand who had a very bad image some years ago because Opel was old-fashioned and had problems with its image and the quality of its car years ago. With this cross-media campaign the brand tried to increase their overall market share by clearing up misunderstandings, increasing the brand knowledge and the purchase intention. 🙂
    What do you or the others think about the eight criteria? Or is there a criteria you would add?
    Do you know other cross-media campaigns? Maybe some brands who did it better or worse?

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    • Oh Rieke, I had to think about the Absolute Vodka campaign a couple of years ago: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qjzu45d4D7k
      In 2012, Absolute launched their “Absolut Unique” campaign in which their machines were retooled from ensuring every glass bottle produced was exactly the same to ensuring each one was uniquely different. They added splash guns and color-generating machines and developed and algorithm to eventually create 4 million “Unique” bottles. Successful campaign, good exposure, adjust, recycle and repackage concept. In Absolut Originality, the costumers are the creators of the bottle, not the machines. Through a very inventive experience, they are permitted to virtually add a drop of cobalt blue into the hot glass as it is forming Absoluts’ signature bottle. This will create what they are calling “a one-of-a-kind piece of art.” Their bottle is numbered, applied to them and 4 million will be manufactured. The cross media campaign for this effort has almost as many channels! Besides the print, and social media (have to LIKE Absolut on FB) this time they have added NFC to posters in pubs. Tap your phone, go through the social stuff, and add your drop from the barstool you are drinking your Absolut Martini from. It is a bit different to the OPEL campaign but even a good one 🙂

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  5. Thank you for your comment! Very good example Doreen 🙂 It illustrated how different cross-media campaigns could be. So I can see Absolute Vodka fulfilled some of the criteria as well. Do you think there are criteria which has to be fulfilled so that a campaign is successful? Or do they just serve an orientation for companies?

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  6. We distinguishe between eight elements that can be used as criteria to decide on whether a campaign can be defined as cross-media campaign or not. If a campaign meets the vast majority of these criteria, it can be de-fined as cross-medial. However, Mahrdt specifies that three of these elements must always be met in order for a campaign to be classified as cross-medial: A cross-media campaign needs a consistent central theme, integrated content and form and cross-linking of advertising

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