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.
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.
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.
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!
Doreen Lusga and Friederike Antonia Krull
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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.
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