It is hard to stay away from the seemingly omnipresent Olympic broadcasts. Even the spoiler alerts are getting out of hand. With coverage and immediate results available through multiple TV and digital channels, Twitters, blogs, news feeds, shadow connections into BBC London servers etc. and with that smartphone…it never stops!
From the receiving end, audiences, it is all about choices and powerful content. Let’s take the first one.
Personally, (and I am not unique), I like to have the choice to be able to watch the horrendous loss from the #1 soccer team in the world, Spain to Honduras via Telemundo. I cannot watch any soccer game without the Spanish-speaking announcer’s energy and ‘gol’ shout outs. I also enjoyed controlling my curiosity and not turning on the TV and avoiding my cell phone the rest of the Sunday until the evening after a glorious afternoon at the beach, when the extended family got together to watch with unbridled excitement the broadcast of the days’ main events via NBC Channel 5. I have to admit: I cheated a little. I knew from the Internet about the Phelps first no-medal swimming competition (to be followed by new records in a couple of days), but pretended to be surprised anyways.
In one day, I must have watched the P&G’s commercials in English /Spanish and seen digital banners and news comments from the periphery of my eyes more than forty times. When I close my eyes I can see the ribbon with the P&G medal logo in the middle. That’s high frequency. And with 36M watching the regular broadcast alone —the biggest opening weekend ever (WSJ 7/31/12) — that’s high reach. What about engagement? As a consumer of media but also as a marketer, I purposely do not interact with brands online, unless it is an experiment. However, I noticed that I am more alert to any mention, ad or comment with the P&G Olympic symbol even beyond the brilliantly executed, tear-jerking “Thanks Mom” video/ad images. Engagement is being built and ad efficiency, augmented.
In spite of many media choices and potential for duplication, omnipresence has resulted in greater audiences. Would it last? In theory, the more opportunities to see the message in its various forms and if packaged well, the higher the recall and effectiveness will be. Would this prove true in the ‘omnichannel’ model? When does this effect taper down?
I am not suggesting that each brand should have an ‘omnipresence’ marketing mix approach to advertising and promotions. It may be wasteful and unaffordable. Plus, even a highly creative promotion, ad, or public relations program is not likely to have the content richness of the Olympics. However, this experience shows contemporary application of marketing principles worth reviewing:
Multicultural or Total Market: Why agonize about either English or Spanish? Offer the choices. Invest according to the target market’s consumption and opportunity patterns.
Digital versus Traditional centricity: It depends. The most effective approach is one that builds on the other. The most efficient one may be different. Just remember that audience experience and frame of mind affect audience recall, perception and behavior from a marketing stimuli.
Mobile: Do not leave mobile out since 70%+ people see at least some of the Olympics via smartphones. However, have the application/ads working right, otherwise it will be perceived as a nuisance instead of as information that is helping the consumer stay informed. How you tell the story is the difference between the two.
Engagement: By now, most companies that have invested in some type of marketing and public relations programming during the Olympics should have a plan to follow-up and extend the effect of their investment after the main event. If not, they are under-optimizing their marketing dollar investment.
Now, I just need my ‘fave’ data scientist to create a preliminary model that captures these concepts, and corroborate the assumptions at the next Olympics four years from now.
No, it will not take that long. Multichannel modeling is starting to become useful. However, we must remember that from the consumer’s perspective it is all about choices and powerful content wrapped in a meaningful experience…. a strategic allocation approach that will ‘carry the day’ any day.
Go Team USA! Congrats to 2012 Olympics athletes!