I recently met with a New York advertising agency and had an unexpected conversation. First of all, with social media growing by leaps and bounds, every agency thinks they can “do” social. That in fact is not the case. Social projects have become the new digital. Remember when traditional agencies all realized that digital advertising and media were becoming a larger piece of the mix and they couldn’t afford to let specialty or boutique shops own that space? Well social is moving in that direction too. With that said, my musings today aren’t about the social world. Instead, I want to talk about the traditional view of advertising campaigns and how they are evolving to include a more social perspective.
Getting back to the agency meeting, they said something that caught my attention. “Marketers need to stop thinking about advertising campaigns and instead focus on modern engagement platforms”. I wrote down the word “campaigns” and drew a circle with a line through it. Every marketer with any sense of the market is trying to expand beyond the idea of the time consuming and costly advertising campaigns. But many are talking about it more than actually doing it. Just like cable did not kill the big tv networks, social and other engagement models will not kill the formal ad campaign. We should look at social as a way to amplify traditional media into new ways to engage and immerse audiences into experiences with our brands. Our definition of how we drive relevance though is changing and the “ads” are becoming a smaller piece of what is really important in this space.
Engagement means many things and how we define it as marketers really depends on your business model and product/service. As we’ve focused more on this area at Intel, we’ve realized how much we have to learn. As a company that sells technology inside someone else’s product, you can imagine the challenge we have to talk about what we make and why a consumer should care.
As we look to drive engagement with our customers (end users that buy products with our technology), we have changed our approach and our thinking. Engagement is defined very broadly and there are standard tactics as well as new models to include. The view that a successful engagement strategy is about creating a viral video that millions will watch and talk about is naïve. Our social approach is multi-tiered, and layered like an onion. The number of layers multiplies as we better understand what engagement means and how we prepare to interact.
As marketers, we’re architecting an experience, not just a campaign.