A (New) Media Plan for 2011

Posted by Mike O'Rourke on Thu, Dec 30, 2010 @ 03:27 PM

distractedAs the 2010 draws to a close, smart businesses are taking a moment to step back and take in the big picture of how they spent their year. For more than a few folks in marketing, this time is being used to evaluate their successes and failures mixing it up with competitors across print, broadcast media, and online communities, networks, feeds and directories.

If you’re a marketer and you’re not ADD already, you’d better start fragmenting your attention now because the people you’re trying to reach certainly are, at least with respect to the way they consume their media. According to Nielsen, 60% of television viewers are simultaneously using the internet on their computers. I count myself among that 60% often, and the odds are good that you’re right there with me (if so, mute the TV now and focus on this article!).

While it’s almost impossible to gauge exactly how people are dividing their attention between their computer, tablet or smartphone and their TV, the point is that people are dividing it. This audience behavior can be overwhelming for marketers who want to embrace new media, but aren’t sure how to target campaigns and measure ROI. As Simon Mainwaring points out in his excellent article, What happens when everything is social media?:

Each media, whether its the iPad, mobile phone, television, movie, VOD, Xbox, game console, tablet or Hulu, has its own ‘use case’ (why someone is selecting that device) that has to be cross-referenced with the others and then measured as a whole. Only then can you know if your marketing spend is having any impact on share of conversation, brand awareness or sales.

Effective brands must now define themselves in prospects’ minds as the aggregate of the content and conversations about them (controlled and earned coverage). To truly communicate the value of your brand, you can no longer dominate one medium at the expense of the others. Chances are good that your prospects are just too distracted to effectively absorb your value proposition through a single channel.

How then, should marketers deal with this fragmentation of attention in 2011? Don’t start this year’s plan by budgeting media. Start instead by defining or reexamining your brand’s core value proposition. Refine it until it’s elegant (you’d be surprised at how many brands never take the time to define their unique value proposition in the first place!). Be able to tell prospects what you can do for them simply and effectively. Once you’ve defined your brand’s message, consider how best to communicate that message, and choose your media based on the capabilities that each brings to the table.

Traditional, one-to-many channels are refined and well understood. But they’re now sharing the stage with a more engaging and less controllable channel in the internet. Online, marketing objectives are won and lost by how brands contribute to the ongoing conversation, not only about themselves, but about their areas of expertise and influence.

This year, it will be vital to approach each channel based on its ability to reach and engage prospects, and to develop a plan that takes advantage of the unique strengths of each. When most of your prospects are engaging multiple media, simultaneously, mastery of a single channel will no long be enough to succeed. Quality marketing in a magazine looks very different from quality marketing on twitter, and with each year, fewer prospects have the time or attention to give to content that doesn’t match its medium.

To your marketing success in 2011!

Tags: Digital Marketing Strategy, Social Media, Television, Strategy, Marketing Integration, Media Planning, Advertising, Integration

Things I (Already) Love About the Internet Summit 2010

Posted by Mike O'Rourke on Wed, Nov 17, 2010 @ 07:50 PM

Internet Summit 2010I just finished my first day of the Internet Summit 2010 in Raleigh, NC and despite it starting a bit later than most conferences (2:30 in the afternoon, perfect for people like me who are a few degrees less than functional first thing in the morning), I've already been impressed by the quality of content, both speakers and vendors represented. While I spent most of my time in the lectures today, I'm definitely looking forward to checking out everything else the Summit has to offer, especially the innovative groups doing demos in the Expo room.

Since The Internet Summit has exceeded my expectations for the second year in a row, I thought I'd drop onto the blog to quickly post about some of this year's highlights.


  1. In less than 4 hours, I've been able to pick the brains, so to speak, of some of the top minds tackling the bleeding edge opportunities and hottest topics of the Internet today. Not only did we get a thorough and varied look at the best ways to enable mobile users to transact business on the fly from IBM's VP of Emerging Internet Technologies Rod Smith, but we also found out about Red Hat founder and Lulu.com founder and CEO Bob Young's (perhaps foolhardy?) involvement with the Canadian Football League. 
  2. Some of us were treated to an extremely insightful chat hosted by Jim Tobin of Ignite Media with Microsoft's head of Emergent Media, Marty Taylor Collins on how she chooses where to spend Microsoft's time and money on social engagement, and more importantly, how she's trained her team to focus on ROI from social media, a challenge that it seems every business is facing today. I'm positive that I'll be employing her strategies myself and for clients to help connect social media campaigns to the marketing bottom line.
  3. Hearing Discover Channel's Director of Business Development Kurt Merriweather's take on the impact that "cutting the cord" (the increasingly popular tactic of canceling your cable or satellite subscription in favor of streaming all your content online) is having on traditional television content creators was great to hear, especially in contrast to the "party line" that we're used to hearing from the telecoms. As it turns out, television consumption is actually increasing year over year, just not necessarily through the television itself. Thanks to guys like Merriweather, content providers like Discovery Channel are plugging into the viewer trends, and giving them quality content whether they're watching cable, on facebook, their smartphone, or surfing the web. It's great to see that television's content creators are taking steps to stay relevant, even as more and more people choose to consume their shows on their own terms.
  4. The Internet Summit supports local beer! I was pleasantly surprised to find the whole spread of Raleigh's very own Big Boss Brewing Company's bottled beers (oh hai alliteration!). As a long time supporter of Big Boss, I can't think of a better way to close out the first day of 2010's Internet Summit than with a cold Hells' Belle Belgian Blonde.


I'm really looking forward to learning more at tomorrow's sessions. I'll be sure to update the blog tomorrow with more from the Internet Summit! If you're here too, I'd love to hear your thoughts on today's sessions and some of your biggest insights.

Tags: Social Media, Discovery Channel, Raleigh NC, Mobile Commerce, Television, Strategy, Big Boss Brewery, Lulu.com, Red Hat, Internet Summit 2010