Michael Eibes: Capture and inspire through cross-media marketing

The increasing complexity and frequency of communication puts the consumer ac­­ceptance of the recipients to the hard test. The industry’s favourite antidote is “cross-media marketing”, also called in­­te­grated communication, a multi-functional tool.
The question of target group definition and communication suitable for media is first on the list. If a multi-functional tool doesn’t reach its purpose, it can’t be used. Just as there is no fixed connec­tion with­out a nut and bolt, it produces no meas­ur­able result. Adding to the com­­pli­ca­tions: Our bolt (the recipient) is con­­stant­­ly moving and changing its form.
So what would help here? A magnet? In marketing just a good and basic idea helps. This idea is like the Big Bang. If it has enough force and authenticity, then it offers the potential of identification to the recipient, a possibility of ap­­proach.
The faster the idea can be understood, the better it is. In the sea of stimuli that we all face each day, there can be only one short moment of attention to catch, to inspire, to interest the recipient and then convince him to take a short walk with you. At the end of the walk, perhaps you have won a friend who has gotten to know your world, holds it in high es­­teem and will visit again.

Cross-media is offered via print, web or TV, depending on how you design the strategic plan for your communication. The choice of methods is secondary.
The idea, the strategy and the result of the performance are the factors for suc­cess in cross-media marketing.

 

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It can also be an advantage to go in a cross-media direction within one medium and bring different communication tools into use. An example from our work: the trade fair exhibition of a Californian bike manufacturer, a brand manufactur­er with a portfolio that includes almost all pro­duct categories in the bicycle mar­­ket segment.

The retailers as target groups in mind, we developed a concept for each of the product groups on the basis of a target group determination dependant on the end consumer.
The idea: The pro­­duct world should be a tangible experience at the fair and re­­present a sophisticated, varied and valuable total offering, in order to make the market potential accessible for the retailer.

The first component brought into service was a type of film set per product group that represented the surrounding environment of use. BMX, for example, was represented on a handrail and a rail slide. The products were integrated in a natural way. Each of the over 90 exhibits was al­­so marked with the necessary information. We describe this presentation as the first information level, which is self-explanatory. The presentation speaks for itself and allows the recipient quick access, of­­fers topics of conversation and gives the sales department (the sender) a fast ap­­proach to the sales conversation (the in­­vitation to take a walk).

The second in­­formation level represents products that are distinguished by a re­­tail advantage on specially emphasized surfaces. The brand-oriented buyer im­­mediately found a variety of possibilities here in view of optimally shaping his margin of profit.
The third information level consisted of terminals with a special product website. They could directly be used by the sales department for conversations and so gave fast access possibility to prod­­uct variants from the manufacturer.


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As an additional information level, films representing the different worlds were used, placed at the outer sides of the over 500-square-meter-large presentation as “stoppers”. The integrated use of different media was mutually strengthening and provided an essential contribu­­tion to an exceptionally good fair conclusion for the employer.
Another example for a prominent part of the city stage, and advertising for it, is the Lightsite (www.light-site.de), an event taking place in Wiesbaden every two years on the theme of light/scenography. The Lightsite 08 told stories with light. Build­ings displayed their history in light/vid­­eo installations on their facades, a row of light projectors with many various themes could be seen in the spa park after the break of darkness. An artificial rainbow was generated at midnight. Judging by the spontaneous joy of the visitors, it was a new experience of the city for them. Many rediscovered their city. The out­door presentation at such an event was also a crea­­tive, innovative and unusual sight for “non-Wies­ba­­den­ers.” The his­tor­ical park grounds, the spa house, the Söhn­lein Villa, and the state theat­re in a light show of the free in­­terpretation of the cre­­ative or staged by light artists, re­­moved from the context of the city, created an unusual event, which was also discussed contro­ver­sially. An in­­de­pend­ently de­­signed podium dis­cus­­­sion was held with visitors on the topic of “light pol­lution of cities”.

The Lightsite was integrated in a com­­prehensive cross-media communication concept. As a component of the Lu­­mi­nale, staged every two years by the Mes­­se Frankfurt, it was integrated and com­municated nationally in press articles of the Light & Building Fair. The event was accompanied in Wies­baden by out­­door advertising, a website, a magazine, post­ers, flyers and press work.
In summary: a successful cross-media marketing project for a city and its creative power.

DSC_0070-cmykThe author is a specialist in B2B communications. After studying communica­tions design in Wiesbaden and an “ap­­prenticeship” at the brain teaser factory GGK, he opened his independent office Michael Eibes Design in the state capital of Wiesbaden and since then has developed authentic strategies tailored to the customer’s biography and market-orientation.