I recently attended “The Collaborative Alliance” at Havas Media in Toronto and came away inspired and a little awed by some of the agenda items discussed.

Aside from “Hexoskin wearable body metrics” (which is a whole other topic, but super cool), what remained top of mind was the presentation from Ryan Manchee, director of innovation strategy for DG Media Mind, about multi-platform campaigns.

While the focus of Manchee’s presentation was mainly digital, the premise applies to print media, too.

Effective multi-platform campaigns are created with the audience in mind. They consider not only what platform readers will view your messages on, but specifically how they use those platforms for media consumption.

Seems so simple, but it requires that most of the work be done up front and across multiple disciplines. Although many marketers are developing integrated teams to create holistic campaigns, many are still working in silos. I would argue that many media companies do, as well.

An ah-ha moment arrived for me when Manchee talked about how a little work up front can make a huge difference in the long run when developing truly integrated campaigns.

As media professionals, we can help our clients create better solutions that are audience-focused and provide content to achieve this, as well. Thinking about it within the framework of how and when the audience is using the different platforms provides us will a plethora of opportunity to be creative and innovative.

Often when working with clients, we undergo the following process:

  • Clearly identify and understand the marketing objective or challenge and the desired target audience.

  • Conduct research on the customer’s industry/market and target audience and highlight key insights that lead us to arrive at a “big idea” that will address the big challenge — all the while remaining platform-agnostic.

  • Develop a solution across appropriate brands/channels that will best optimise the client budget and focus on how we can communicate their messaging across the appropriate channels within our wheelhouse.

This is an effective process, but we can take it a step further and provide recommendations on customisation of messaging based on the platform and consumption habits of the target audience. 

This is easier said than done when simply responding to a request for quotes or ad-based RFPs. But when content is included, we have the liberty of making those recommendations on what kinds of content should be developed for the various media components — and often provide the services to do so.

This recommendation will inevitably be different almost every time, but here are some things to consider when thinking about the audience first:

  • What media do they consume and for what purpose?

  • How much time do they spend with each platform?

  • What other actions might they be doing at the same time?

  • How many screens are they using at a time?

  • How can we tailor the message to communicate with the audience appropriately, given the above?

As we continue to evolve from suppliers to partners with our clients, we have greater opportunity to be involved in the upfront planning process. And that is where we can really provide true solutions-based programmes and where creativity and innovation are at their best.

Many thanks to Ryan Manchee for sharing his ideas at the collaborative. Feel free to check out his Webinar and hear it for yourself .