A Guide to Convergent Out Of Home

The following presentation is from posterscope (http://www.posterscope.com/)

Yep – it’s kinda long, but well worth taking the time to read.  They did an awesome job of visually representing what is happening in the world of Digital-Out-Of-Home.  Best part (imho) is the re-definition of a screen: basically, projectors allow you to turn anything into a screen.

And, can an argument be made that providing a digital overlay on a physical item is basically creating augmented reality? Me thinks so.

Transmedia marketing in the physical world with digital overlays, NFC, QR codes, Location Based Services, and the list goes on….   This is a great time to be a marketeer.

(click on this link if Slideshare is being funky:  http://www.slideshare.net/Posterscope/guide-to-convergent-outofhome)

Game of Thrones Scent Box – Transmedia Case Study: PT 2

Game of Thrones Scent Box

This is the second part of my personal spin on Deep Media’s Game of Thrones case study.  If you haven’t read Deep Media yet, I’ll wait while you read.  Go here —> http://www.deepmediaonline.com/deepmedia/2012/01/and-the-final-lesson-from-game-of-thrones-is-always-support-the-bottom.html


Ok – now I’ll give you my 2nd favorite snippet:  ” So they decided to introduce a new sense each week. But this led to other problems, starting with how to convey scent on the Internet. The couldn’t, of course. Instead, they turned to a real-world experience: They would make up scent boxes promising, as HBO put it in an accompanying letter, “an immersive experience of the land of Westeros,” where Game of Thrones is set. The boxes would go to a small number of influencers—bloggers, reporters, George Martin fans, and the like. “Open the boxes and there’s a whole world inside,” Coulson told us—parchments, glass vials, and six different scents with instructions on how to combine them. “Mix them together and you’d get the smells of Westeros.”

Lesson learned?  Include items from the physical world.  Billboards, locations, mementos and most importantly living, breathing people (or zombies if you have them)

I have a collection of interesting physical elements on my scoop.it blog: http://www.scoop.it/t/transmedia-marketing-traditional-non-interactive-media.  As digital becomes ubiquitous, physical becomes noticable…

The World of Transmedia Marketing

A few weeks ago I ran across a blog by Gary Hayes (brilliant!).  He developed a “metaphorical chart representing the key fragmented lands of media”, and uses this to help communicate the need for transmedia storytelling.  If you have time, go check out his blog (again, BRILLIANT!) Navigating the World of Multi-Platform & Transmedia Rituals | PERSONALIZE MEDIA.

Alth0ugh I love this image (because – yes it is brilliant!), I ended up creating my own “visual” for transmedia marketing.  Not as cool as Gary’s, but it does simplify the world of transmedia by breaking it down to the basic elements of transmedia marketing: physical, digital and interactive elements surrounding the core story, brand or lesson.

The physical world is the world of people, places and things.

  • “People” represents the real people who act as a character, sing a song, tell a story and (in the world of business) talk to customers.
  • “Places” are either story elements (a small cafe in Casablanca) or the physical location where story elements are displayed (theaters) or experienced (stores).
  • “Things” are possibly the dimension that is in the middle of most change and requires the most thought.  In the old world, “things” were the only means of conveying a story outside of a person (a book, a painting, a perfume) but in the new world many “things” have become digital (pictures) and even more things may become digital in the future (augmented reality).  However, as more things become digital, there will be a higher premium on physical things, and in some instances the “physical” may convey the ‘wow’ factor better than the digital (the smell of coffee may NEVER be replaced by a digital simulation).

I reduce the Digital World into the elements of images, text and sound.  As I explore this world, I also look for the underlying components of  ‘tools for creating the world’ and the ‘tools for receiving the world’.

I combine social and gaming under the bucket of “interactive” platforms.  This component of the world will continue evolving and growing for the next couple of decades.  Ultimately, the interactive platforms enable the physical world to interact with the digital world.  Nanotechnology may change this up in the future.

Marketers who live in the digital world are comfortable with “pushing” (display advertising) and “pulling” (search, inbound marketing).  Pushing requires the marketer to label people and push appropriate digital elements.  Pulling requires the marketer to label the business and place digital elements where people can find them.

Marketers who live in the interactive world understand that they create digital elements, and then give them to people to push, pull, twang, morph, lob, etc…

Transmedia is scarier, and funner.

Measuring the Effectiveness of Transmedia Marketing

Today,  Adweek announced that “TubeMogul Brings Nielsen GRP Ratings to Video |  Part of push to equate TV, digital buys (see the full article here: http://www.adweek.com/news/television/tubemogul-brings-nielsen-grp-ratings-video-139258)

This announcement underlines one of the nasty realities of transmedia marketing: there is no existing framework for transmedia marketing metrics.  Ultimately, if we want to stop marketing in silos we need to stop measuring in silos.  We need the ability to determine marketing costs and marketing effectiveness holistically across all media types and platforms.

1) Determining costs across all media: the primary challenge is separating the cost of service from the cost of audience, and then creating a platform agnostic metric for “audience”.

  • The cost of service can be anything from creative services to media buying to analysis.  Transmedia marketing can spread the cost of service across multiple platforms, thereby reducing the cost of service for any single platform, but increasing the complexity of determining costs on a platform basis.
  • The cost of audience requires the ability to attribute the qualities of audience across time, distraction and interest.  An audience that that is exposed to a message for a long time with no distraction (e.g. a movie trailer in a darkened theater) is more valuable than an audience that is exposed briefly with multiple distractions (e.g., a billboard near a busy freeway).  However, you must include the power of  “interest” to provide the appropriate weighting to the calculation.  To build on the previous example: showing a movie trailer for a kids movie inside a theater preparing to show a sci-fi – slasher-thriller movie may be worth less than having a billboard for a kids movie by the freeway near Disneyland.

2) Determining effectiveness across all media.  Ultimately, effectiveness is measured by audience “actions” ranging from remembering your product thru to purchasing your product.  But the interesting measurements are those actions of “engagement” – reading, replying, playing, clicking, sharing, etc… And this is where transmedia marketing has the biggest impact: engagement.

Ultimately, it all comes down to eyeballs and actions, but I’ll save my viewpoint on the solution for another time.

Is Conan O’Brien a Transmedia Entertainer?

I think Conan O’Brien is high-larious – often laugh- out-loud, snorting thru my nose kinda stuff – and his Team Coco concept is brilliant.  The question I have is: is this transmedia entertainment?

1) If we all agree that “transmedia” is an adjective.

2) And, we all agree that “transmedia” is not the same as franchises, sequels etc… (see wikipedia’s def of transmedia):  Transmedia storytelling (also known as Multiplatform Storytelling) is the technique of telling a single story or story experience across multiple platforms and formats using current digital technologies, not to be confused with traditional cross-platform media franchises,[1] sequels or adaptations.

3) Then we apply these concepts to Conan’s entertaining universe: Conan provides a single entertaining experience across multiple formats and platforms (see examples below)

Old Media

New Media
  • Web:  http://teamcoco.com/ – includes behind the scene and other content not found any other place
Social Media / Games
  • Very active on twitter & facebook – both broadcasting and responding
  • He hasn’t created an ARG or developed a “studio” zynga’s castleville

Then, can we agree that Conan is a transmedia entertainer?

Potential Implications of Transmedia on Marketing Organizations

The implications of transmedia in education and entertainment are in the process of being explored, experimented with and critiqued.  I think we’ve just begun to explore the implications on business and marketing practices.

There are three major forces colliding within most marketing organizations: BIG data (it begs to be said in caps), marketing technology and media fragmentation.

Transmedia helps to solve the the problems associated with media fragmentation by providing a cohesive narration that is optimized/developed for each media space.  Big data and marketing technology provide the infrastructure to ensure targeted and timely delivery and mapping the value back to marketing ROI.  Each system works together, but the skills required for each system are generally VERY different: creative vs analytical vs systems/process thinking 

Marketing departments in big companies (may) be able to functionally support these systems. But smaller companies will need to outsource.  This leads to the question – which should you outsource vs which should you own?    Will a marketing eco-system develop where specialists in these systems work on a for-hire basis, and the business marketing departments simply work as marketing project managers?  And if so, do they start calling themselves marketing producers?

Lots of questions.  Please discuss 🙂


Game of Thrones Transmedia Case Study – PT 1: The Essence

Although this video does a great job describing/demonstrating/promoting the transmedia campaign.  I found the following excerpt to be the most enlightening on HOW this was done:

“The first task was to try to reduce the story to its essence—no small task for a series with 19 main characters and dozens of supporting characters from seven royal and noble families and a half-dozen other groups. He managed to get it down to “the power struggles and secret liaisons of dynastic families vying for control of a mythical kingdom”—not quite as pithy as The Sopranos in Middle Earth,” which is how one of the screenwriters described it, but still not bad.”   http://www.deepmediaonline.com/deepmedia/2012/01/and-the-final-lesson-from-game-of-thrones-is-always-support-the-bottom.html

Reducing the story to it’s essence …

This holds true in all transmedia marketing exercises – reduce the story, the value proposition, the brand promise the … whatever … to it’s essence.

Is Transmedia Marketing Just Another Marketing Discipline?

I love this blog regarding marketing disciplines: http://apowerpoint.blogspot.com/2009/06/10-marketing-disciplines-defined.html.  The blogger – Anthony – categorizes and defines 10 marketing disciplines (e.g., social media marketing, email marketing, etc…)  

I appreciate his pithy definitions and basically agree with his view of these activities as “disciplines” which leads to the obvious question: is transmedia marketing another marketing discipline?

The answer is “no, unh-un, not a chance”

Transmedia marketing is a philosophy (view or theory) that unifies and creates the underlying framework that enables the addition and rapid iteration of new marketing disciplines: marketing strategy, organizational structure, operational workflows and marketing metrics. 

To think of transmedia marketing as just another discipline misses the point of calling it “trans” – meaning it goes across all media.  Transmedia marketing is about breaking down the silos, not adding another one.

Transmedia … is it an Adjective or a Noun?

Steve Peters does an amazing job of capturing the current state of transmedia definition, and ends his blog with a request:  “stop using transmedia as a noun…”

I agree and will comply with Steve’s request!

Transmedia as a noun is too broad and unwieldy.  Rather than communicating a concept or intent it actually obfuscates and “un-defines”.  However,   when used as an adjective it brings focus and clarity.

Here is why transmedia as an adjective feels so right:

Transmedia marketing – marketing a brand/business across multiple platforms and media

Transmedia storytelling – telling a story across multiple platforms and media

Transmedia franchising – distributing a story across multiple platforms and media

Ba-da-bing: point made.

Here is a link to Steve’s full article.  It’s well worth reading: http://www.stevepeters.org/2011/05/18/what-the-hell-is-transmedia/

Students' Union Committee, 1964

Transmedia Marketing – a Definition

I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about transmedia marketing, and have come up with the following definition: weaving your brand or organization’s story across multiple platforms and media.

This definition resonates for 3 reasons:

“Weaving” implies a pattern, a vision of the end-result and interconnection.  Too much of marketing is conducted in silos, and focused on specific campaign objectives.  We should be focused on creating a unified, interconnected brand experience.

“Story” – if I hear (or say) “content” one more time, I will be forced to pinch someone.  “Content” is simply the components of story.  If you have no story, don’t bother creating content.  Content is not the goal, it is the vehicle.  ‘Nuff said.

“Platforms and Media” – in marketing we use terms like “channels”, “media”, “markets” yada, yada, yada depending on which marketing discipline you practice (communications, product marketing, etc…).  The term “platform and media” takes the conversation down to the digital bones and makes room for all existing and emerging marketing tools  – traditional and digital, social and static, analog and interactive.

Having the definition is useful in developing the parameters of what’s in, what’s out and where to start.

Of course, starting is the hard part 🙂