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The jack of all trades is a master of none

Cross Media – the new “Extreme”

Every few years there seems to be a great idea that gets co-opted as a catch phrase by bad marketers looking to make an average product or service somehow remarkable.  Most recently the word was extreme.  After the success of a youth oriented series of sporting events, everything from business forms, mini-golf and snack chips was referred to as extreme, xtreme, or XTREME !!!!  Extreme business forms?  Seriously?

The latest word to be drafted into the pantheon of hucksters looking to peddle one particular solution or another is cross media. 

What Cross Media Marketing is: A method of using multiple channels to provide a unified marketing message that features a call to action on all of the channels employed to drive respondents to a single data collection point in order to start a two way conversation.

What Cross Media Marketing is NOT: Anything else.

Marketers have been issuing the same message on multiple channels since the inception of mass marketing.  Coordinated TV, radio, and print ads are nothing new.  What makes a campaign become cross media or cross channel is how the responses are funneled into a single data collection point, either systematically or manually, to generate a dialogue with the prospect.  The dialogue is the key feature.  Marketers need to gather information from their clients and use that information to generate the follow on communications – regardless of channel. Any channel or medium can be employed.  Anything else is just advertising.  

And finally, to the folks at that consumer electronics giant spending millions:  Posting a video online and in downtown Tokyo does not qualify as cross media marketing no matter how much you say it does.  It’s just a video…

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