Tying Traditional and Engagement Media for Better Metrics

January 27, 2010

In this industry, we hear a lot of snarky talk about traditional media and how practitioners "just don't get it." From my vantage point, the same could be said for engagement practitioners; if anything, their condescension comes with a great deal of irony.

Still, there are good points to be made about the viability of pouring resources into traditional, "interruption" marketing techniques, particularly as consumers tune out and the still-rough economy promotes the online shift. But where to start? The following illustration highlights (and grossly simplifies) the problem:

Moving from Interruption to Engagement

The best reason for going digital—namely, that you can better measure results—should appeal to even the most stodgy print and tv adherent. Now, I'm not going to tell you to dump all your traditional media and invest everything in a spiffy new Web 5.0 website, 30 social media profiles, and the latest Internet thingamajob. We take our role as consultants/strategists seriously enough to recommend cave drawings if they'll best fit your market.

Besides, traditional media can work alongside engagement media under the right conditions, helping to move your customers through the sales funnel. Instead of just blaring your message out to unknown/barely known persons and waiting for sales figures to nudge upward, you can get involved in the process of soliciting feedback and facilitating consumer decisions. For example:

  • A+ Widgets has always advertised in print, but this year they put in a suggestion that readers go to their Facebook Fan Page, where fans get a 20%-off coupon. Not only does A+ mine good CRM data and establish an ongoing rapport with fans, they can track sales back through the funnel through the coupons.
  • A consumer sees the latest A+ Widget print ad, but wants more information and heads to Twitter to ask around. Thankfully, A+ Widget has an active account, and they quickly address the consumer's concerns (and find out where he learned about the company's products). The consumer is referred to the website, where he submits contact information in order to download a PDF of "1,001 Fantastic Uses for our Widgets."
  • A+ Widgets uses its latest TV commercial to promote its YouTube Group. Group members are asked to upload a video showcasing an innovative way of using an A+ Widget, and each member will get to vote on the best. The winner is showcased in the next TV commercial.

Those aren't revolutionary ideas, but they all have a leg up on traditional-only campaigns in customer involvement and relationship-building. Moreover, they aren't terribly complex nor held at the mercy of expensive, confusing tools—though, as we've pointed out, the playing field isn't quite as equal as we'd all like.

Ultimately, the real benefit is measurability. When it comes down to it, determining the effectiveness of old-school interruption campaigns is a crapshoot. Tying together your traditional and engagement tools, however, provides real insights that help you improve.

Want more details on insights? Check out Mark's piece, "Metrics are good. Insight is better."