It is not just about setting up specialist strategic business units that dot the circumference of a much bandied-about circle of integrated communication. Itâ€™s about thinking differently, approaching customers differently and going to where the consumers are instead of looking down from a corner room in a corporate district.
Media-neutral ideas are here. And they are perilously close to sounding the death knell for the creative mind that cannot think beyond the 30 second TV commercial and the 200 column centimeter press ad. Media-neutral ideas cannot come from a shallow overview of the emerging apertures. They come from a thorough understanding of each and every medium. The new age belongs to the creative brain that is willing to go back to school.
People are time-challenged. People are attention-challenged. People are being constantly challenged at work to perform even harder merely to hold their jobs. No the ideal mental framework with which to appreciate a hard sold advertising message loaded with generous amounts of hues and cries of one who has not understood the consumer. The marketer needs to have his elevator pitch ready and need to have it at places least like the elevator.
New media, new approach:
Many creative people, still pay the merest lip service to the internet, without understanding the science behind user interfaces and usability, and the power of well-thought information architecture.
Not knowing the power of creating genuinely absorbing experiences and being unaware of the need for user journeys, they will never be able to extract the full potential of the medium.
Relationship management is again another area of glorious creative fuzziness. Without the knowledge of what fuels loyalty, what hot buttons need to be tapped for customer retention and how to stem churn, a creative ideation exercise is truly futile.
Outdoor presences have gotten really slick, tech-savvy and innovative. They are strategically poised to get eyeballs, impact and succinct ideas across. And working in tandem with mobile phone and FM, they create a new hybrid messaging and interaction form of communication.
An event isnâ€™t a standard customer catch all anymore. Itâ€™s drawn from consumer value system, rooted in behavioral insights and tailored to customized lifestyles. A promotion must be relevant to the core needs of todayâ€™s â€œI â€“ want â€“ want â€“ it â€“ I â€“ got â€“ itâ€ shopper.
These are times when brands must be where consumers are and not vice versa.
Consumers-marketer co-creation is a thriving, empowering, influential, symbiotic relationship. Consumers are, in their own way reaching out and owning brands by willingly participating in their creation.
Consumers who like to talk or complain about brands talk across multiple platforms, including common message boards, first-person blogs, review and rating sites, clubs or community sites and of course, the water cooler. To-day they are the content creators.
We need to think less about â€œconsumersâ€ and more about â€œpeopleâ€. Because the story is still about basic human needs. What is different is how people are consuming media and using technology to connect with each other and to express their views.