eMedia - Giving Up Control
6/17/2013 6:00:00 AM

There is nothing wrong with your television set. Do not attempt to adjust the picture. We are controlling the transmission. We control the horizontal. We control the vertical. For the next hour, sit quietly and we will control all that you see and hear. You are about to experience the awe and mystery which reaches from the inner mind to – The Outer Limits.

Those of you who lived in the days of black and white television may recall these famous lines from the opening for every episode of a popular TV show in the 1960s, The Outer Limits. As a kid, I was captivated by that calm, almost computer-like voice. Of course I did what I was told. I sat back and enjoyed the show.

What does this have to do with eMedia? In our last installment we compared the goals of time and space in traditional advertising with the active and passive use of eMedia channels. However, to truly understand how to use eMedia to its greatest advantage we must first come to grips with the fact that we are no longer in control of the communication process. Just as that voice told us that we weren’t in control of our television sets 50 years ago, so too are we no longer in control of our communication programs today. It’s a tough pill to swallow, but nonetheless it’s reality in today’s eMedia landscape.

For years we “pushed” our advertising messages out to our prospects. We controlled when, where and how our messages were received, essentially telling prospects to sit back and enjoy the show. Today in the world of eMedia, the flow of communication has been turned upside down. Regardless of whether the channel is active or passive, the audience is now in total control. All we can do is make our marketing message available to those we wish to reach and rely on them to “pull” that message in.

We have to wear many faces to be successful as an eMedia marketer. While a chameleon will always be a chameleon, it changes its look to blend with its environment. That’s essentially what we have to do as an eMedia marketer. Our message and the way it is presented cannot be the same in a search engine like Google or Yahoo as it is on Facebook. Our prospects have very different mindsets and intents when they are doing a search, versus being on Facebook connecting with colleagues. They have yet another mindset when they are reading the latest industry blog like this on an information portal like CountertopIQ.com.

So here are my pearls of wisdom for you, today’s eMedia marketer:

1.       It is critical to understand how each unique channel works. It is especially important to know if the channel is active or passive. (eMedia – Not What One Might Think)

2.       Multiple channels can, and in fact, must be effectively integrated together for eMedia to be effective. A social media campaign using one channel isn’t sufficient because your prospects choose to use only the sites they are familiar and comfortable with. If your message isn’t present on their preferred site, there’s no chance your message will be considered.

3.       People engage with different forms of media differently … and not necessarily the same way each time within a given media. Put yourself in the shoes of your audience. Does what you want them to do make sense given their relationship and interactivity with the media in a business situation?

This magnificent marketing tool called eMedia is still in its infancy. As I continue to investigate and research new theories and applications, I am consistently amazed as to the power and uniqueness of this addition to our marketing toolbox.

So now the question in your mind must be, “Ross, what’s the solution for my business?” The bad news is that the answer to this question is as unique as your company and its marketing goals. By the way, that’s the good news as well.

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