What does it mean to interact through advertising?

This is a question that is asked of me often during a client discovery. What does it mean to interact through advertising? Is it some type of cliche that we are merely reaching for? It’s difficult to understand why companies continue to run interrupt-“ive” advertising campaigns.

In past blog posts I have discussed my interpretation of our brand statement – “interact, don't interrupt”, and how it is a way to build an effective advertising campaign around this type of thought leadership.  By this type of thought leadership of course I mean a way to create ad campaigns that drive your marketing plan to the market, in a way that becomes interactive to get the consumer to better accept your message.

We recently met with a client to discuss ways to turn a campaign in to an interactive chess match with consumers.  After all, another thing I preach constantly, the consumer is in control of media consumption.  The only way to get a consumer engaged in your brand is to run a well thought out multimedia campaign.

Well thought out branding and creative will remain paramount in this entire process, however, understanding spots, dots, out of the home, digital, social media and mobile is the true genesis of a long-term media plan that can be positioned to engage a consumer.  Here is a concept – produce a :30 TV commercial, run it in some local news programming and wait for the phone to ring.  Welcome to 1980!

Fast forward to now, welcome to 2012 (remember the consumer is in control) – the above scenario just won't work, at least not as effective as it could with proper thought leadership interactive game planning.  I would ask you to think about how you consume media.  Most of us go home, put our cell phone on the couch or table next to us, open up a lap top and/or iPad….then….turn on the TV to watch our favorite shows – which by the way MIGHT be DVR'd.  Here in lies the problem, which most of us in the marketing world understand and do little about, the media consumption is as segmented as it has ever been.

So why are so many companies doing nothing about it?  Here is SOME of what you need:

1.  Digital display advertising – time blocked and geo-targeted to match your message across all channels

2.  Social Media strategy – beyond just content marketing through your posts, you need an effective display plan

3.  Mobile/App development – this is to serve the next item on this list

4.  Proper traditional media plan – focused on driving people to some type of app or other means of being interactive is crucial

With some of these basic strategies in place, you can get the consumer engaged in your brand.  If they see your brand on their favorite news websites and social media sites, perhaps download an app, you can then trigger a response through your traditional advertising channels, or at the very least get some brand recall!

So there is a way to be interactive when it comes to advertising.  You just have to have the thought leadership to execute a well thought out plan.