We see the entire process of marketing and media strategies differently than some firms. When others talk about a “communications campaign”, they provide information on how to buy traditional media vehicles, and perhaps how to find a few online marketing options.
In our experience, this can be the most expensive and least effective way to get your message out to the audiences you want to reach. We believe the development of a marketing campaign is a careful combination of four key media elements:
- Earned media
Media coverage provided by media outlets or by third parties disseminating information about you, your project, events, activities and accomplishments. This may happen organically, but in most cases the activities need to be planned and managed to ensure coverage is received.
- Owned media
In many cases, mass marketing is no longer as effective with individual target audiences. Inbound marketing – where the company creates a presence in multiple online vehicles that are “found” by target audiences – can have a bigger effect on delivering the position and message. Companies would use digital resources to distribute relevant content. This content will help to position the company as a thought leader or as knowledgable in the specific industry to the desired target audiences.
- Shared media
This involves a company’s participation in social media. It includes creating the access points, and populating the pages in each vehicle with comments, personality and information relevant to the key target audiences. This takes time, and the company would need to be committed to the process, and be consistent in its contribution to the chosen vehicles.
- Bought media
This is what was once called the “media buying” process – where we identify vehicles that are relevant to target audiences and then buy space in these vehicles based on budget and timing. While this element is part of a complete promotional marketing plan, it can also be used as filler or to “heavy-up” a campaign if the other media options are developed properly. In addition, many traditional vehicles are no longer as effective in reaching certain target audiences, and they would be replaced by a variety of digital marketing tools.
To make your media campaign strategy effective, the plan must recognize what vehicles work best in communicating with each target audience. Finally, by carefully flighting all media elements outlined in this section; a company can create a marketing scenario that extends its message throughout the year, in a more interactive format.