Reaching Customers in the Age of Information Overload - Walter Delph-Adly

By Walter Delph Archives
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Welcome Walter Delph, our newest MediaBizBlogger.

In the age of interruption, reaching an audience was often taken for granted. Waiting for their television program to return or flipping through a newspaper to find the second half of the story they had been reading, consumers were likely to be exposed to most advertisements – regardless of their relevance. To be sure, brands with memorable, well-positioned marketing campaigns would typically see higher returns on their advertising spend, but creativity was not required for mere audience exposure.

Today, even consumer reach is often elusive. Opening their Facebook accounts, users are bombarded by information streams, much of which informs them about the lives of people with whom they have offline relationships. To fight through the clutter of a friend's most recent check-in or a change in a crush's relationship status, marketers must get even more creative. If they fail to do so, their message won't just be less impactful; it is likely to be missed entirely.

To avoid this, marketers will want to use their paid, owned and earned media in tandem to create a virtuous cycle of customer engagement. A company's paid media investment should drive customers to their owned media properties, such as company website or mobile application. Paid and owned media should then work together to generate earned media, or communication that is driven by the customer rather than the company.

At Adly, we recently helped Verizon to promote FiOS Quantum, the company's new high speed internet service. Leveraging our vast network of influencers, we created a campaign that directed customers to a humorous YouTube video that Verizon had developed to launch their new internet service. The campaign went viral; within days it reached an estimated 30 million consumers across Twitter, Facebook and YouTube. Verizon Quantum also generated significant earned media in less then two weeks, including thousands of Facebook likes, hundreds of comments directly on the video and over 200,000 video views. Additionally, the graph below highlights that the term "Verizon Fios Quantum" received a huge uptick in search volume, which indicates considerable growth in user awareness. It also shows a highly engaged fan base continuing to converse about the product weeks after the initial campaign, reiterating the tremendous staying power earned media delivers to brands who have learned to use it effectively

As marketing and media converge, advertising messages cease to be effective as well-defined interruptions to content, but instead must add value in order to be integrated within the existing social stream. In Verizon's case, this was achieved, in part because as part of Verizon's Adly campaign the company used an influencer like Paul Pierce in the middle of basketball season. This enabled the company to deliver a relevant, authentic message that customers felt comfortable endorsing, combining their paid and owned media to achieve what some see as the Holy Grail: turning customers into brand advocates.

Walter I. Delph serves as the Chief Executive Officer at Adly, which provides an industry leading technology platform that connects brands with consumers via the most influential people in social media. He leads a team that is focused on capturing the $50B online endorsement business which is underserved in the social advertising market. Walter can be reached at walter@adly.com. Read all Walter's MediaBizBloggers commentaries at Influence in the Social Media Age.

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