Mediaedge:cia (MEC) has developed a next generation blueprint media practice for businesses, called ‘Are you in control enough to let go?’. This downloadable, step-by-step guide helps brands rethink communications solutions by providing thoughtful analysis and case studies from around the world. Melanie Varley, Chief Strategy Officer, MEC Global, presented her perspective on the changing media and communications landscape and how it would affect everything in the years to come on August 19, 2010 in Mumbai and introduced the guide.
‘Are you in control enough to let go?’ guide includes ten new ways to actively engage the consumers of tomorrow, today. These ten ways help brands build deeper, richer and more profitable relationships with consumers through an inspired integration of media, content and technology.
The 10 new ways to engage consumers
Find the right balance across paid, owned and earned communications; Work with ‘engagement ideas’; Switch the focus from changing attitudes to changing behaviours; Identify important digital decision communities and join them; become a more data-centric organisation; get ready for addressables; media test a more organic approach to planning and buying; escape from the annual marketing calendar, embrace 3-3-3 thinking; Create ‘liquid content’ that is easily shareable, downloadable and portable; And finally- Be in control enough to let go.
Speaking on the research and the guide introduced, Melanie Varley, Chief Strategy Officer, MEC Global said, “Our world is now a digital one and MEC understands that many advertisers need new approaches to actively engage and reach their consumers. So we have taken the initiative to distil our insights and expertise into one compelling story. This book helps our clients gain a clearer picture of how communications can drive more profitable relationships with their consumers in the future.
In 2005, MEC created the concept of ‘Active Engagement’, a new approach to building relationships between brands and their customers. The effectiveness of traditional communications had been on a decline. Active Engagement was developed in response to the fundamental shift in the marketing universe: the rise of digital channels to challenge established media such as TV, print and outdoor. Thus now with the introduction of the guide, the study will hope inspire change with new approaches that will help enhance the presence of brands, increase the level of ‘Active Engagement’ with customers and generate effective results.
During her presentation, Varley stressed that the choice is no longer between digital and traditional channels or above-the-line and below-the-line. Instead, it is about balancing the combination of paid (a television spot or banner advertisement), owned (an event, sponsorship, website or application) and earned (a positive post, blog review or journalist endorsement) mediums. The default position is to focus time and money on paid media – but in fact consumers have shifted their attention towards earned and owned channels. Thus the approach challenges us to understand what drives effectiveness across the new media spectrum, to recognize the legacy bias often present in our selection of paid media and to harness the potential of owned and earned media.
Varley also pointed out other aspects like- consumer behaviour and their decision making process; becoming data-centric that will connect marketing; communications and sales; a more responsive organic planning and buying approach; recognising a broader range of content like blogs, social media posts, widgets, gaming and apps helping the agencies and clients actively engage with consumers.
The presentation concluded with the last chapter of how organisations must embrace radical change if they are to capitalise on emerging opportunities to engage an audience that is in constant evolution.