We’re in the awkward adolescent stage of integrated media. There is still a great divide between traditional and digital brand communication. This becomes obvious in the disjointed way that many brands talk to consumers offline and online and the clumsy calls-to-action from traditional media to digital.
It always cracks me up when I’m asked to scan a QR code in an underground subway station with no internet access. Recently I saw an ad with a QR code on the other side of the subway tracks. Not only was there no internet access in that subway, the QR code was printed so small that anyone wishing to scan it would need to climb down onto the tracks and step over the third rail to get close enough to scan it with a mobile phone. And if there had, magically, been internet access, I suspect that the QR code would only have directed the browser to their general desktop website.
For consumers, the lines are blurred. There is no online or offline. Consumers consume all types of media. My 16-year old niece doesn’t really distinguish between the conversations she has with her friends over Instagram or the conversations she has with her friends in person. They’re all just conversations.
Brands, however, separate online and offline conversations into distinct silos, often managed by different agencies. Many traditional agencies stumble with digital campaigns. Many digital agencies stumble with brand building.
The opportunity for marketers is to create experiences that makes sense across all of these touch points, and always to judge communication from the point of view of our consumers. The next generation of integrated media will be truly integrated.
(Marketoonist Monday: I’m giving away one signed print of this week’s cartoon. Just share an insightful comment to this week’s post by 5:00 PST on Monday. I’ll pick one comment. Thanks!)