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.
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.
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.
The 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.