We’re better, integrated

Marketers should re-appraise integration rather than getting too swept away in the social phenomenon, says Nick Gill, planning director at DCH.

Nick Gill
Nick Gill

What do the TV election debates, Thinkbox and Old Spice have in common? Numbers that show how effective integrated campaigns are versus thinking and executing merely in silos. I’ll share these numbers with you in a moment.

Everyone claims that social media is the saviour of the world – that Tweeting and Facebooking is the only way your brand will survive in this post-digital, advertising-is-a-dinosaur world.

But I’m not so sure. Yes, social networking is huge and with each new technology and experience comes exciting ways to realise the potential of connecting brands, consumers and communities. But it’s just one way of reaching your audience – assuming that they even want to be reached or engage with you in that way.

However, brands and agencies are still compartmentalizing social media as much as they do with brand, direct and digital; pledging allegiance to just one or two of these disciplines without due consideration for maximizing the integrated benefits. “Integrated” appears to be a dirty word; an alien concept as more shops create new “social media divisions”. Divisions with their own P&L and by default, a divisive, silo approach rather than one engineered to maximise ideas as a team.

We must jettison silos and create multi-layered, seamless experiences. Digital, social, advertising, media and analytics must be brought together so we can utilise each media in a way that is cohesive, that encourages deeper engagement, amplification and participation.

The new integration is about digital enabling ideas, making them meaningful and participatory, taking ideas beyond the screen and into the real world. We don’t passively view or actively participate in silos, do we? Mashing is second nature; we’ll happily listen to the radio while driving, or use the laptop or mobile while watching TV.

This was most recently evidenced during the first televised UK election debates. The first debate on ITV drew 10.3m viewers – a 40% viewing share, up from the usual 22% of that slot demonstrating the public interest in this political first.

The evening was also a record setter for live chat on ITV.com, where 45,000 viewers streamed the debate as it happened and 200,000 shared their opinions. 36,483 tweeters joined in the action creating over 184,000 tweets during the debate. While the figures above are dwarfed by those passively viewing the debate on TV, it demonstrates our growing desire and ability to add our own voice and opinion to what’s being broadcast and demonstrating the power of TV and digital working together rather than in isolation.

ThinkBox and the IAB proved this last year with their “TV & Online: Better Together” study that showed integrated campaigns resulted of 47% more positivity being generated about a brand versus using a medium in isolation. The study also revealed that the likelihood of buying or using a product increases by more than 50% when TV and online are used together. The findings reinforce the need to be creative and ideas led rather than lazily banging the TV ad out into the online world.

The best example of an effective integrated campaign I can think of is Procter & Gamble’s work in the US for Old Spice through Wieden & Kennedy. While attention has been on the personalised video responses, the campaign has been gaining traction for six months following its integrated launch on broadcast and digital around the Super Bowl.

The personalised response element of the campaign took the idea to another level using various digital tools to their maximum effect. And it worked. Since the campaign launched, Old Spice Bodywash sales have gone up 27%; in the last three months up 55%; and in July, up 107%, according to a case study from Wieden & Kennedy.

Just doing digital, or advertising, or social isn’t enough anymore. The new integration is about the seamless convergence of all.

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