Middle School Marketing: One Big Idea, Many Fragmented Markets

Ryan Moede, Former Viget

Article Category: #Strategy

Posted on

It's the consumers' media world - we're just marketing in it.

AdWeek's 30th anniversary edition appropriately captured the theme of this month's Middle School Marketing event here at Viget. More than ever, consumers media consumption habits are radically changing, and marketers are struggling to keep up. Matt Smith of SmithGifford kicked things off this morning with a similar message - media fragmentation is the marketer's biggest problem, and it takes more than a savvy media planner to overcome the dilution of consumer's attention. 

It's easy for marketers to get overwhelmed with the ever-growing number of fragmented channels. (If there was ever any doubt to the web's impact on time-shifting our media consumption habits, simply consider that nearly 70% Tina Fey's SNL skits impersonating Sarah Palin were viewed online or on a DVR.)  Given the increased targeting options available through social tools to discover niche networks, the big idea can get diluted and confused. Smith said that understanding your target audience personas - who they are, what makes them happy and how they want to connect with you - are building blocks of crafting the big idea that resonates.

The issue is not that  you may not need a bunch of different plans, the problem is that you don’t have ONE idea that’s big enough to tie them all into one idea. With 900 cable channels, and 1 billion web sites, direct mail, outdoor, Newspaper, Magazine, and urinal cakes.. yes…With Your ONE Big Idea, on all of them. You can’t loose. Start being multiple things in multiple mediums and you will be lost in fragmentation hell.

That clarity of the message and the big idea is key to helping it spread across fragmented media and social networks. It was true for Obama's campaign, with passionate supporters rallying around the call for change, and it is true for brands engaging in conversation with their customers who are looking to them to help spread the word.

Ultimately, as consumers' attention is more fragmented than ever across micro-niches and a wealth of screens (TV, computer, mobile, etc.), digital marketers should work more than ever to understand their consumer's personas, and to provide them with the big idea that can readily encompass each point of engagement.

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