You Want Digital With That?

October 26, 2011

Interactive and social media have been buzzwords in almost every industry now for years and the radio industry is no exception.  Unfortunately, we oftentimes have a tendency to look at interactive as an add-on to existing promotions and spot buys, like super-sizing your meal at a fast food restaurant.

It’s no wonder it’s easy to do that. The world of technology moves quickly with shiny new objects coming out almost every day and tech pundits declaring the death of that which just became mainstream. In a few short years we’ve seen the rise (and in some cases the fall) of MySpace, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Foursquare, Buzz, Google+ and just about every special interest network you can think of. (Are you a member of the knitting social network?) Then there is the technology side with Flash, AJAX, HTML 5, mobile apps, email and texting to name a few. So lets take our current promotion or spot buy and add on the latest new shiny object, right?

Wrong.

Our focus needs to be on building integrated campaigns or promotions. That is so much more than an add-on to what we’ve always done. It’s planning a campaign from the beginning with the end result in mind and then evaluating which of the tools in your “toolbox” will best help you achieve that result. Integrated is about custom campaigns, not packages or formulas.

In putting together a campaign we have to ask ourselves how will our listeners interact with this campaign on our website, on social networking sites, on their phones, in their inbox. We have to ask what’s going to compel them to participate and are we reaching the listener where they are (the 360° approach)?

To do this our promotions folks must become engagement specialists. Our sellers must become marketing specialists. It’s a big step, but one necessary to fully take advantage of all new resources available and continue to be relevant in an age where media consumption is becoming increasingly fragmented.

So what about the rapidly changing technology?

  • Keep up as best you can with tech and industry blogs. Use Google Reader or similar software to aggregate feeds from multiple sources and review every day.
  • Be on the cutting edge personally as much as possible. Join all of the hottest social networks and really try to participate.
  • Try out that hot new app that’s getting a lot of buzz.
  • Write down the great ideas when you run across them but save them for later. When the right promotion or client comes along, you’ll know.

 

Jonathan Mauney is making Greater Media Great in his role as Director of Interactive Media for Greater Media Charlotte