Earned Attention Should Become The Cornerstone of Marketing Integration

Barbara Bacci Mirque at the ANA noted that ideas are the answer to the top-of-mind marketing challenge known as “integration”:

A recent ANA survey highlighted that integrated marketing now tops the list as the issue that keeps senior marketers up at night. You have heard me say before that ANA members tell us that the best way to tackle this is to start with the idea and let the idea be the media channel integrator.

Barbara is savvy, and I don’t necessarily disagree, but I tried to build on her assumption (in her comment section):

Reading between the lines…it would seem the requirement for an idea is that it EARNS and attracts the attention of the intended stakeholder. The ability to earn and attract now is the scarcity, not the media channels. When media channels were scarce, and they had a hold on attention, companies could talk to themselves and still achieve some results. Today, an idea must be able to sustain on its own, foremost. Then, integration of media and marketing platforms is required to enable that idea to blossom and travel where it wants to and where it deserves.

My general feeling is that the legacy of paid attention, interruption, interception and coercion still cripples the advertising industry’s ability to embrace earned attention — especially as it relates to core marketing communications. But that will change as media-sources splinter, consumer attention erodes and trust in big-mass institutions continues to decline. There’ll be no choice other than to rally around earned attention and pay greater dues to credibility.

Neither big mass media nor the push channels that advertisers rely on are going away outright, but they’ll certainly morph in scale and form over time. What’s needed, along the way, is greater understanding of attention as it becomes more fluid across dynamic media contexts; and how infinite information sources (including ourselves) and channels impact, morph and erode current media-planning assumptions and mental frameworks for consumer decision-making.

Published by Max Kalehoff

Father, sailor and marketing executive.

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