Brought to you by...? Susan's take on this summer's big budget campaigns? Might be a good idea to invite the online and offline folks to the same company picnic.
Is it just me? Am I so "old school" I believe a gazillion dollar, network TV ad campaign should be coordinated with other communication channels -- especially a company's Web site? Isn't it a basic tenet of Branding 101 to integrate marketing campaigns?
Maybe some of the bigger marketing departments are on extended summer vacations and aren't aware the messages in their TV and Web site communications are on completely different wavelengths. Or maybe (tell me this isn't true) the advertising department simply isn't talking to the online department.
Here are just a few examples:
OK, you get the idea. The online marketing isn't talking to the ad department at some very large organizations (is it possible that they're that far down the hall?).
I did find a few nice tie-ins.
Gap.com emailed a sneak peak at its fall TV campaign a day before it aired. I got $10 off my next jeans purchase to boot. Bravo! At least the e-marketing department talks to the Web department, and they both talk to the advertising department.
Kudos to Apple Computer, currently running testimonials on TV featuring converts from the "dark side" of PC usage. On its site, Apple posts everything from the actual TV spots to reviews from journalists who personally became Apple users. There's a neat little FAQ about making the switch that's very consistent with the offline campaign.
Coordinating your message with all your media outreach not only minimizes confusion among target audiences, it's more cost efficient. You run one branding campaign at a time and maximize your message through multiple forms of media.
Makes sense to me. Maybe folks will get smarter after summer's over.
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Susan Solomon is the executive director of marketing and public relations for Memorial Health Services, a five-hospital health system in Southern California. In this capacity, she manages promotional activities for both traditional and new media. Susan is also a marketing communications instructor at the University of California, Irvine; California State University, Fullerton; and the University of California, Los Angeles.
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