Synergy in a multi-channel world

When Don Draper presented an advertising campaign in the TV series Mad Men, he had the luxury of doing so within a limited range of traditional channels. But the marketing environment has changed. With the advent of social media, consumers are reachable through an ever-increasing range of channels. We like to think that if Don was working in this environment, he would have championed the power of synergy while still pining for the days when you could smoke in the office.

When approached with proper strategy, social media can be leveraged with valuable results. However, this doesn’t mean you can blurt out your communications across a plethora of channels with no strategic consideration. Doing so can compromise cost effectiveness, alienate or overload audiences and even undermine your brand’s voice.

Develop your strategy accordingly. Your audiences must be offered a unique experience across each channel – one that capitalises on the nuanced differences between each. Creating synergy across all modes of communication is essential to ease the cross-platform experience, and to collectively reinforce the overall message and image of the brand.

Depop are a brand who do this well. They are a social selling app that has generated millions of fans through a service described as part Instagram, part eBay. We like to think we do a pretty good job too.

Breaking it down…

Who are you trying to target? Different channels cater to different audiences. You may be interested in reaching a broad range of demographics, so tailor your content according to the audiences on each channel.

Targeting specific channels demands generational awareness. The demographic of 18 to 24-year old’s are cusp Gen Z, millennials who exhibit different social norms to those of previous generations. Some defining characteristics include a shorter attention span (with a 12 second average for millennials and 8 for gen z) and higher levels of skepticism towards marketing than previous generations.

Depop avoids traditional marketing approaches and keeps posts short and snappy to allow for maximum engagement. They also convey a sense of authenticity by sharing user generated content frequently.

What are you trying to achieve? Which channel best suits your objective? Instagram is perfect for clothing retailers and fashion influencers – it is where Depop shines. The visual emphasis of the platform showcases the products, while its functionality allows users to view prices and link to the site to purchase.

Meanwhile, Facebook is leveraged as a customer support channel, allowing the brand to listen to consumers and problem-solve.  Twitter invites engagement too, but on a less sophisticated level. Depop use it to conduct polls or ask basic questions: “What are your autumn essentials?”

Navigating different channels also demands tonal shifts. Instagram has a more casual, playful tone, so on the Pesel & Carr profile, our culture manager and resident dog Louis represents us there. He’s not so active on LinkedIn.

When? – Different channels vary in usage rates according to different times. Facebook sees a large drop in engagement on the weekends and evenings for example. Twitter sees a much higher rate of engagement in the morning, while Instagram receives the most attention in the afternoon. Post frequency, too, should be dictated by awareness of user behaviour on respective channels. Twitter shelf life is very short – posts only last about eight hours but can be gone in a split second for heavy users.

Where will the content be consumed? Instagram caters to the casual user flicking through while waiting for the bus, while LinkedIn is more likely to be viewed from a desktop.

Why are you using this particular channel? Is it just to maximise exposure? Or does the channel provide a specific advantage that you want to leverage? Using Instagram stories for example can have a unique benefit. The 24-hour nature of these posts produces a sense of scarcity that lends itself to generating excitement or a sense of occasion. It’s a good way of letting your followers know that a sale has just began for example.

Finally, while it is important to respect the differences between channels, your communications must be viewed holistically, so the sum of the whole is greater than its parts. Despite using a broad range of channels, both Pesel & Carr and Depop speak with a consistent voice to achieve a sense of continuity across platforms. No message is repeated, and each message takes advantage of the differences between each platform. Through this, our brands speak louder and do so to a wider audience.

Don Draper would be proud.

Birthday boy

It’s been a historical start to the week. Yesterday, a contagious Trump returned to the White House with a positive reading of COVID-19. Tomorrow, the Earth will be closer to Mars than it will be until 2033. And today, is my fifth birthday.

I had planned on a poodle soiree for the occasion. A dignified feast on Schmakos and bones at the park, with pauses in between courses for walks and poos and playfights. Humans were to be allowed, but no skateboarders!

With plans thwarted, all I needed were some extra pats from Barbara and Stuart and to sneakily take my birthday bone to enjoy on the comfort of the living room rug.

Sometimes it’s the little things that count. Happy birthday to me!

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