Monday, May 5, 2014

Agency Managers: If You Don't Think Transmedia, You Will Miss Profitable Audiences

In the cluttered media space of today’s market, transmedia storytelling is becoming increasingly more important to attract—and keep—consumers attention on multiple platforms to create a mutually beneficial relationship for them and you. As a M.S. candidate in Medill’s Integrated Marketing Communications program much of our focus is on the consumer and how to best engage them in creating a beneficial relationship – sometimes done through transmedia storytelling. 

In “Seven Myths About Transmedia Storytelling Debunked,” author Henry Jenkins, discusses the hottest buzzword for producers and marketers alike – transmedia storytelling. While many companies are implementing new job titles like, Transmedia Producer, and laying claim to expertise in transmedia much of their knowledge is based on myth. Jenkins goes through the seven myths:

  1. Transmedia Storytelling refers to any strategy involving more than one media platform.
  2. Transmedia is basically a new promotional strategy.
  3. Transmedia means games.
  4. Transmedia is for geeks.
  5. Transmedia requires a large budget.
  6. Everything should go transmedia.
  7. Transmedia is "so ten minutes ago."
This helps readers better understand and use transmedia. He believes that the core of transmedia storytelling is in the stories themselves and while some may disagree we see the most successful transmedia storytelling being done with hit shows like 24, Glee and True Blood – all great stories in themselves.

Source: Ogilvy Entertainment

A second interesting article came from Forbes who reported that Barbie was selling her Malibu Dream House for a mere $25 million and is setting off for bigger and better things. The whimsical “For Sale” sign was the start of a Mattel marketing campaign to unveil a new Barbie Dream House just in time for the holiday season. While this ‘pinktastrophy’ was more than entertaining what caught me most was Mattel’s excellent example of transmedia storytelling in a marketing setting. Mattel partnered with luxury real estate agent, Josh Altman, cast member of Bravo’s Million Dollar Listing and could find the listing and a virtual walk through of on Social media campaigns also allowed fans to help decide where Barbie should move and what the house should look like and was complemented by traditional advertising. Mattel also released a YouTube web series, Barbie Life in the Dream House and will be tied together by a partnership with EMS Entertainment for travelling exhibition/experiential marketing campaign entitled, Barbie the Dream House Experience.

After reviewing these articles, there are three action items that you should immediately consider when creating a transmedia campaign: 
  1. Platforms Matter: Not all platforms will give you the biggest 'bang for your buck,' decide what platforms best fit your marketing strategy.
  2. Keep Their Attention: Consumers are in control and are not always in the digital space. Think of others ways to enhance your story outside of traditional realms. 
  3. Tie It All Together: Use social media not as a basis for your story but as a way to tie all your marketing efforts into a cohesive effort to promote feedback.
While every agency and your clients offer a unique marketing experience, there are some commonalities we all share in wanting a compelling transmedia story. Whether your goal is to increase sales, increase brand awareness or increase customer retention, these three proven tactics will help you create a transmedia campaign that moves in the right direction. 

A graduate of the University of Iowa’s School of Journalism with a degree in entrepreneurship and a current M.S. candidate at Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism, Communications and Integrated Marketing Communications. Lauren Pardun is an integrated marketing professional that specializes in creating dynamic and engaging campaigns across multiple platforms. 

Follow her on Twitter @lauren_pardun

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