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Digital Media: Where's the Money?

WSA Newsbytes Presenting Views: Using Digital Media for Marketing: The New Rules of Transference and Engagement

by Ann Jensen Warman, brandUNITY

Research completed by PQ Media reports that combined spending on three new advertising channels, blogs, podcasts, and rss news feeds, rose by 198% in 2005 to a total of $20.4 million. It is projected that this will grow by another 145% in 2006 to nearly $50 million.

The American Association of Advertising Agencies predicts that internet video will grow this year by 55%, podcasting will grow by 30% and blogs will grow by 20%, ultimately reaching a $757 million combined market by 2010.

With the profusion of social media options on the Internet from chat rooms to forums and newswires, what used to be esoteric technology has moved into the mainstream. Linkedin.com, MySpace.com, and Facebook.com bring new meaning to personalization; sign up for Linkedin and instantly acquire over 1,800 new professional friends, with 5.5 million other contacts immediately searchable as prospective colleagues.

Behavioral targeting and marketing, channeled through online video, mobile advertising, interactive TV, and online gaming are the new pathways for reaching prospects on their home turf. Within these new communication systems, the premises for brand building rest on the same basic human core of trust and loyalty building that they always have, yet the tools are entirely new and in experimenting with them we are unearthing new combinations for effectiveness.

Digital media with all its creative enticement offers new ways to reach customer touch points. Visit a website and click on a streaming video ad to see more information about a product or service. Find out which song is being played on the radio by holding your phone up to a speaker and have the service figure it out for you.

MTV Networks recently coined the term transference to describe what many of us are finding to hold true: Unified brands that exist on multiple platforms provide far more effective advertising opportunities than singleplatform brands.

What does this mean? Marketing strategy is essentially organized in a sequence that moves across all the digital channels where customers communicate, from internet, to direct mail, cell phone, to DVD, and in the case of MTV, even down to a special ring tone with text messages that alert individual viewers about an upcoming show that will interest them.

The Advertising Research Foundation?fs new definition for the term engagement then becomes ?gthe process of moving a prospect to brand adoption by addressing buyers within their specific digital environment.?h Through data personalization, the message is individually tailored to needs and persuasively delivered.

The MTV marketing researchers have also discerned that regular viewers who are strongly engaged with a particular show are also more likely to be influenced by ads they see in association with their program.

As another example, Verizon combines online banners with email in a business-to-business international marketing strategy, which is supplemented by print advertising, direct mail, TV ads, and inserts. This multi-channel approach to the rules of engagement surrounding cell phone usage, are an expression of technological object as much as cultural form.

Call it transference, or convergence, or social networking, experience is showing that communication becomes more recognizable and influential when it is distributed across multiple channels as consistent messages that reinforce context in familiar environments.


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