These things we should know

A few posts back (Forward to the past; August 16th). We made the observation that marketers are challenged by the concept of active leisure replacing the passive, and ad receptive, television paradigm.

It’s worth building on that to explore the behaviors that this activity promotes and how these can be leveraged by marketers. Given that so many of these activities involve the use of screens the  instinctive response by many is to equate those screens with media ‘real estate’ and debate how, where and at what cost to insert ads into that space. Sometimes this works and sometimes it does not.

Like all communications it’s somewhat useful to have a clear view of the outcome you are trying to stimulate and what that outcome could be worth to you. In this new world order, of the many evolutions of behavior that we observe perhaps four are more useful than others:

  1. Declared intention is an extraodinarily indicative consumer action. Marketing that drives declared intention – i.e. search queries – is of high value and accountability
  2. Personalization is the inevitable consequence of networked devices deployed in an on demand world. Marketers that offer the opportunity, reason and value for consumers to make ‘it’ their own have the opportunity to build higher value enagement. Furthermore they will capture actions that are effective proxies for sales.
  3. Collaboration is a function of the network effect. If engaged consumers collaborate and interact with content, with brands and, most importantly, with each other. Positive collaboration deepens relationships and increases share of conversation.
  4. Mobility has become more than access to untethered communications. Last year we described broadband as the operating system for life. If that’s true then the mobile device has become its ultimate peripheral and brands need to consider what it is that they can offer to persuade consumers to take them with them.

 This leads to some interesting implications for communications strategy, measurement and goal setting, and for the creation of creative assets. In terms of message distribution – the GroupM bit of the puzzle – we sense a greater clarity of purpose when we know that we are planning to outcomes and can create transactions with the owners of content and platforms that tie rewards to success rather than just exposure.

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