Ifra Newsplex director Dietmar Schantin believes the immediate future is in integrated mobile, online, broadcast and print media information streams: “People want to be integrated,” he says.
While links between media provide an incentive for the audience to stick with a publisher, this coordination is difficult within a traditional news organisation. “If you have a great paper but poor online or mobile, people will go elsewhere,” he says.
And he believes a common brand is important for advertisers: “It’s about compensating for the weak points with the strength of different media.”
Schantin tells of success stories including a year-long US campaign for Cadillac saluting Texas philanthropists. TV and print exposure (on WFAA and the ‘Dallas Morning News’) was complemented by online exposure on a WFAA microsite and through dallasnews.com.
Some 728 paired TV spots and 84 page and half page newspaper advertisements worked with floating information on the paper’s website. The heart of he campaign was the WFAA microsite which highlighted each ‘legend’ and provided an area for Cadillac to showcase its range. “It was very successful ... but only because of all the different media used and because each was recognised and had the appropriate quality associations,” he says.
And in Switzerland, Schantin says a weight-loss programme for ‘Coop Zeitung’ used a range of media which included print, video, podcasts, blogs and voicemail for motivational messages supporting the ‘online coach’ concept. Some 8000 users registered – paying up to 100 Swiss francs ($100) and the promotion achieved its objectives of increasing customer loyalty and gaining new readers.
In the UK, a Telegraph Media promotion associating the Volkswagen brand with the Ashes cricket series – using podcasts and 12 video channels as print and online – created 91 per cent awareness for VW and its Touareg 4WD. A similar campaign had linked Guinness with the Rugby world cup with comparable results.
Schantin says audiences trust quality print and the brands behind it. “Quality and relevant content will always drive and audience,” he says. But digital media was being used more and more, and advertisers were following: “The classic print advertising business model will eventually die,” he says. “Clever cross-referencing and cross platform offerings for audiences and advertisers have become more important.”
From Ifra’s digital research director Stig Nordqvist came a multidimensional view of media consumption. Strategy options for media companies included focussing on one segment in the ‘me/we’ space, operating in parallel to one of the main axes, or covering and dominating the entire ‘me/we’ space using content ownership or customer contacts to monopolise user attention. But there is no single ‘correct’ strategy, he says: “The current trend towards participatory online ‘we-media’ does not exclude successful enterprises on other areas,” he says. “The key to success may be fulfilling known user needs in a focussed, simple and attractive manner.”
“Make it so consumers can interact, but don’t expect them to do so a lot.”
An insight into Chinese online development came from ‘Zhe Jiang Daily’ information technology department director Xianfeng Lou. Working with prepress electronics specialist Beijing Founder, an interactive crossmedia publishing system had been developed over four years, delivering digital editions of more than 800 newspapers.
“The system has mixed modern technology with the original cultural spirit of the newspaper and the cultural experience,” he says. “Digital is not surely the future newspaper, but must be the channel to the future.” gx