In reviewing a client’s internal branding/marketing plan recently I noticed that the Marketing VP called for an increase in broadcast and social media “advertising”.
Given that CX or the Customer Experience is a key focus of my firm’s practice, I questioned what the impact on the customer’s experience with the brand would be? How would it differentiate the customer experience from that which they have with competitors? And how would it meet the client’s conscious or unconscious expectations?
The fact of the matter is that, whether they know it or not, B2B and B2C audiences alike have become accustomed to engaging with a brand beyond a display ad. In fact, I’d argue that we’ve become numb to such advertising and the theory that consistent ads increases brand awareness and recollection when a purchase decision is made is no longer valid.
Brand advertising must learn from the experience of social media marketing and move beyond static display. Within traditional media we’ve already seen the concept of “media nations” emerge to provide a brand an opportunity to engage a television program’s audience across multiple channels including:
- Commercials on the show
- Product placement within the programs storyline
- Interactive games or placements within the program’s web site
- Ads on the network’s Web site
- Social Media engagement via the program’s social networks
- Featured tweets or other mentions by the show’s celebrities
We’ve even seen Web ad networks deploy unique technologies like contextual and device awareness. As innovative all this may have seemed just over a year ago, I believe it fails to leverage the audience’s expectations and capacity for communication over interaction and contextual display.
And that’s the key; their expectations, maybe even unconsciously, have been altered to anticipate and desire some form of personal communication with the brands they love – or hope to love. Advertisers seems to believe that providing interactivity through digital games and rich media ads would drive this but given the reports that most customers consider these more of a nuisance illustrates the fact that a rethink is required.
Device Driven Psychology
ABI Research recently reported that by 2016, 30% of pay-TV advertising ($22 billion) will shift to newer viewing formats, including VOD, tablets and smartphones. Traditional media will no longer be supported by linear ads inserted in a 24-hour schedule, but by more interactive “programming” that invites, in fact requires the viewer’s participation through various digital devices. The rapid rise of Realty TV should have been a clue to the audience’s changing preferences.
So the industry is preparing itself but does it not seem reactionary? Given what we’ve learned from our social media communication experiences, should this not already have been in place? Or maybe it’s that the new breed of interactive mobile devices is finally allowing for greater customer interaction with advertising?
Many predict that the flat screen television on your family room wall will soon be nothing more than a monitor connected via Bluetooth to one of your Internet devices and that cable companies will fall into a new category of “content provider” competing with your neighbor and his Web cam.
It certainly begs the question: what advertising plan has your marketing team planned for 2012? Does it meet the customer’s communication expectations?
What do you think? Will customer expectations force static advertising out of existence?
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