Wednesday, April 09, 2008

BPN 1063 A press release from Roland Berger

A new generation requires a change in tradional marketing approach. Advertisers and media companies are on the threshold of a cross media challengen. The technologivcal developments as the communicative versatility of the digital consumer force advertisers and media companies to a cross media amethod. This is one of the conclusions from the Cross Media Study of Roland Berger Strategy Consultants. While CBS, Time Warner and Walt Disney in the USA are ahead of the troops, in the Netherlands only the financial newspaper, radio and internet group FD Media has made a clear choice.

I read this opening of the press release more than once, for I could not believe my eyes. Either someone at Roland Berger Strategy Consultants has just discovered cross media or the company is a stranger in media Jeruzalem of The Netherlands. Crossmedia has almost been invented in the Netherlands in 1999 with Big Brother and now in 2008 only the FD Media Group is the only Dutch crossmedia company. Good grief.

Sure, the FD Media Group has the tools for cross channel and cross media communication with the newspaper, newsletter, internet and radio. But when was the last real crossmedia campaign of FD and not the last cross channel campaign? There are many more and perhaps better examples than the FD Media Group in The Netherlands. For example, the VARA broadcasting company has already for over five years a well definined and successful cross media strategy with internet as extension of their TV programs, internet, print, radio and TV extensions of the consumer program Kassa!. Last year, during an iMMovator cafe, Wessel de Valk presented a case study of how a consumer program changed over a period of 5 years. In 2002 Kassa! (Cash!), a Dutch language consumer program of the VARA, a public broadcast station, was a classic program. It was broadcasted 42 weeks, every week except for summertime; attracted 1,5 million viewers and had a contact frequency of 64 million times. Once a program had been broadcasted and repeated once, it went into the broadcast archive. In 2007 the contact frequency has been extended to 232 million times. Over the years the program has been built out to a brand, crossing over from television to other media. The ingredients are: Kassa on TV; Consumer TV; Q&A; The golden hint; The experts,; Forums; News; News quiz; Product polls; polls; Themes; Tests; Newsletter; Links; Contact. The program is broadcasted on analogue and digital television and the program has a hybrid form of an analogue broadcast, which is continued on internet and later on broadcasted as the prolongation. The program is also part of a consumer channel broadcasted on a digital channel. Also radio has now a daily consumer show. Besides the internet prolongation of the television program, the program can be retrieved for a month. There is also a weekly newsletter, announcing the items of the upcoming broadcast, but also comments on the past broadcast. And there are still Teletext, text television, and the RSS feeds. And now at last a print magazine will be published. And this might not be the end of the media tail, as narrowcasting has not been probed yet. This net of programs is delivering its fruits. The site has daily 40.000 unique visitors; monthly 1,2 million visitors. The newsletter is received by 130.000 subscribers. And this tool has created its own community of faithful subscribers. No less than 23.000 consumer questions are launched in this forum. There is now a database with 200.000 answers, with only 55 questions which could not be answered. When a subscriber launches a question on the forum, he/she will have reactions within an hour. The community has also organised itself by subjects.

The press release from Roland Berger continues to educate the Dutch on cross media. The new generation consumers has grown up in the digital era. The early presence of the communication means like internet has had a strong influence on the need and behaviour of the new consumer: The digital generation filters without mistake relevant information from the avalanche which daily reaches them by internet, RTV and mobile Phone. Often you see them pro-actively selecting and comparing consumer products, using various channels according to personal needs. This forces advertisers to a more personal and cross media handling in their activities.

The sentence the digital generation filters without mistake relevant information is the fashionable babble. This digital genration does not filter without mistake the avalanche. They, secundary school kids and college students copy Google and Wikipedia without criticism. That is why politicians and educationalists are working on media literacy, media wisdom (bad term) or media versatility.

The press release is cliche ridden: Young people want to express themselves, seek personal conal content and want to play an active part in brand experience. Live entertainment, a social environment and much interaction are crucial… There is an opportunity (for the advertisers, JB) to develop content together with the consumers.

The press release concludes that a new way of advertising will arise with three new players: the channel specialist, the match maker with the consumer groups and the cross media solution specialist. My goodness, what a conclusion. This while the digital media and digital communication educational courses aim at cross media specialists and story tellers and not channel specialists.

No, seriously, you can not read this press release without tears in your eyes, given the gratuitous statements and lack of historical media consciousness. I wonder whether you can keep your eyes dry reading the Cross Media Study.

Blog Posting Number 1063

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