Lessons from the front lines

My colleague Karla Chambers recently wrote a blog about her experiences on location with a street team in Henrietta, New York, for one of our clients, NYCM Insurance. She painted a good picture of the actual experience of being at the fairgrounds and seeing the masked, hooded, numbered people.

For any marketer or advertiser with similar challenges to what NYCM Insurance has been experiencing—multinationals trying to eat their lunch, lower penetration in some key markets, and, of course, in this economy, an everyday challenge to attract and win business—there are a few points to be made beyond just the sexiness of the execution.

Start with the idea that your next campaign needs to be an integrated campaign. The work should touch as many delivery channels as possible. In the case of NYCM Insurance, that included a grassroots presence (the aforementioned street teams), the booth, paid search, social media ads, an optimized landing page, online video, radio and more. We also had a very robust PR initiative wrapped around the program. The media landscape is so fractured these days, even within B2B, that relying on one or two channels for messaging just doesn’t cut it.

In order to have a campaign that is versatile enough to carry across multiple channels, and most importantly, not just be cookie cutter in each of those areas, but use the properties of the media to its advantage, you need two things: a smart strategy, and from that strategy, a compelling idea. There is an inescapable bond between the strategy and the idea. And the test of whether you’ve nailed them is how fundamentally sound and engaging they stay even after they have been translated into various media. Will the idea be translatable at the grassroots level and also be translatable into sight, sound and motion for video and also translatable into words for paid search? And will each of those translations use the best properties of the media to its benefit? If not, then you’re not done yet.

Lest you get the wrong idea, I’m not suggesting this is easy. In fact, it’s quite hard. And it takes time. To do it right takes bold leadership and shepherds on both the client and agency side to keep it from going sideways. Thankfully, in the case of NYCM Insurance we had both.

Integrated campaigns should also be measured campaigns.  Build a scorecard. Define an expectation. Follow the data. It is possible to measure everything provided you’ve been smart about it up front. (Full disclosure, I may have just gotten a gold star from my partner and resident analytics guru, Mike Reineck.)

In summary:

—Make your next campaign an integrated campaign

—Make sure you have a smart strategy

—From that strategy, make sure you have a compelling idea

—Measure it.

—Let it rip.

— Chris Schlegel, Creative Director


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1 Comment

Filed under advertising, Customer Experience

One response to “Lessons from the front lines

  1. Chris,

    This is a great post! We are trying to teach small businesses and other clients the importance of using several media channels. Your post is helpful in educating them about the ins and outs of the advertising and marketing world. Please check out our site and tell us what you think:


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