Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Surround Marketing

I’d like to introduce a concept developed by Arun Poojari. Arun is the National Sales Head - Brand Solutions for Microsoft Advertising in India. His Surround Marketing is clearly a new media concept. The title is reminiscent of the surround session media buy offered by publishers including The New York Times, but it’s much broader.

The media model he uses is Entertain > Connect > Inform > Assist > Convert. It bears some relation to the one I wrote about several months ago, but it focuses only on acquisition. That’s find, since the purpose is to look at new media in the acquisition process.
And that’s an interesting perspective. His stages and the techniques in each are:

Entertain. Use video, games, and/or rich media

Connect. Banner advertising, which can be on social networks or other sites like portals. Social networks can also host marketer pages; Target is a good example. So can virtual worlds, which Arun doesn’t have on this graphic.

Inform. Email, mobile advertising and applications of many types sit squarely on the line between Connect and Inform. They can be used for either purpose, perhaps both at the same time. Special events and other on-line promotions can be highly informative.

Assist. Organic search is often the first step in finding out about products and services and the brands that offer them.

Convert. He sees paid search as closer to the end of what we used to call the conversion funnel. Paid search should be coupled with campaign-specific landing pages and a clear conversion strategy and path.

This is a content ecosystem, not the conversion funnel of olden days (a decade or so ago). The conversion funnel could be controlled by a savvy marketer. No one controls the ecosystem of content, which includes but certainly is not limited to, marketer messages. Content of all kinds, much of it user created, swirls around in rather fashion. Marketers can be—must be—part of that ecosystem, but they cannot control it.

Today’s marketer wants to use the new media to reach certain target audiences. The Sears ArriveLounge campaign I wrote about yesterday is a good example. Sears is using the large social network portals as well as audience-specific networks. That’s good, but are there other places on the Internet where this target audience hangs out? Undoubtedly. I’d suggest that no media buy is going to cover them all, even for a deep-pockets marketer. If your online budget is not robust, a media buy covering all sites is unlikely.

That puts a premium on engaging the audience so they’ll share with their friends. Everyone is trying to do that—at least everyone puts a share this link or icon on their communications. That’s the facilitator, but it’s not enough to get the potential customers you do reach to help you reach others that haven’t been reached yet. That requires content that is actually worth sharing.

And that’s the challenge in a nutshell!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thank You Mary for posting this
i must admit the credit for the concept is not mine. This concept has been presented in multiple other sources too.
thank you considering to post this