Incorporating the 4Cs of integrating digital marketing into marketing campaigns
Do you know the “4Cs” of integrated campaigns? When thinking about how to create a successful integrated marketing campaign, Pickton and Broderick’s 4 Cs explained in their book Integrated Marketing Communications can be a handy test. They outline the four key concerns that need to be addressed in order to give your campaign a chance of reaching its goals. The 4Cs are:
Coherence – different communications are logically connected?
Consistency – multiple messages support and reinforce, and are not contradictory?
Continuity – communications are connected and consistent through time?
Complementary – synergistic, or the sum of the parts is greater than the whole?
In this post we take a look at three high-profile campaigns, and offer an insight into their results related to the 4Cs .
02: Be More Dog
O2’s foray into 4G advertising asked us "to be more dog". The overall message of the campaign is that life in the digital 21st century is amazing, there are countless things around that should amaze and inspire us, but we have become too jaded by experience to appreciate the multitude of opportunities afforded us by technology. In short, we’ve become too cat (disinterested and aloof) while we should be embracing our inner dog (energised, interested and excited by the possibilities of every day life).
For more on concept and execution, you can read more about the campaign which was Campaign Magazine’s campaign of the year for 2013. The 4Cs are applied as follows:
Coherence. From print ads and TV commercials to interactive games that allow you to throw a frisbee from your smartphone to the cat on your PC and or sending dog bombs to your friends, all communications adhere to the simple central premise – to take life by the scruff and make the most of opportunities.
Consistency. Once again the strong central premise allowed comms across a series platforms to adhere to key points. TV advertising slots drove viewers to bemoredog.com where quizzes a quiz determine how dog they were and then share the results through social channels. The aided reach and engagement and helped the launch ad achieve 385,000 YouTube views in the first 48 hours.
Continuity. While the campaign changed over time the strong central premise and it’s application across platforms allowed long-term continuity. In fact, the creative was used as a basis for a £7million above the line campaign to launch 02’s revamped Priority app.
Complimentary. The considered interaction of communications across platforms allowed a momentum to grow and helped the campaign gain a wider audience through social media and sharing.
If you haven't seen the video launching the campaign, check it out, it's a great piece of work.
American Express: Small Business Saturday
Promoted online and offline to American Express cardholders and businesses using Amex, the aim was to get people back into their main street or high street and to support smaller, local stores. A full pack of resources was created for business owners, providing a consistent brand image, ready to go material and enabling entire communities to participate.
Coherence. The fact that Small Business Saturday is now part of the US consciousness and gaining support in other markets is due in large part to the simplicity of its message, and the fact that the majority of people mourn the demise of small retailers on Main Street USA. Or High Street Great Britain. Or la Rue Principale de France.
Consistency. The simplicity of this message enabled American Express to create marketing collateral for small businesses, print advertising, Facebook apps, You Tube explainer videos and Google Maps listings that sand from the same hymn-sheet.
Continuity. Once again, the simple message and the use of social channels (You Tube, Twitter and Facebook) as a central hub for the majority of campaign activity meant that communications remained consistent on both style, message and desired action.
Complimentary. Its use of Facebook as a ‘hub and amplifier’ was integrated with Twitter interactions that allowed customers to talk about their own favourite businesses and for businesses to publicise their participation.
Effectiveness. It won a host of awards. It was made an official ‘day’ by the US Senate. Even Barack Obama tweeted his support. And it is now rolling out to countries worldwide.
Snickers: You’re not you when you’re hungry
As with all successful global campaigns, the “You’re not yourself when your hungry” campaign worked on a universal assumption, namely that when you’re hungry your mood and your abilities change. The campaign continues to run across social, television, retail and print.
Coherence.While the execution changed across different media and markets, the central theme and strapline remained the same as it was relevant for markets worldwide.
Consistency. The consistency of message worked well across multiple regional campaigns and media: from the TV ad featuring Joan Collins, to the PPC campaign based around commonly misspelt search terms, to the Twitter campaign featuring Rio Ferdinand and Katie Banks that generated newspaper headlines, questions in Parliament and legal proceedings. These consistent messages allowed the effectiveness of the central proposition remain intact across markets and regional campaigns.
Continuity. The launched in the US with a Superbowl ad featuring Golden Girls actress, Betty White in 2010, and yet four years later the creative execution of the campaign remains intact.
Complimentary. The effectiveness of the central proposition and the global campaigns adherence to the first Three Cs mean that when combined you have a long-running, multi-channel, multi-million campaign, the constituent parts of which ensure that
Effectiveness. According to Effie.org activity in the first three months of the campaign in the US helped to grow sales by 13.4%, there was an 18,000% increases in Snickers searches on You Tube, over 5million online views and over 400million incremental and unpaid media impressions.
A few words in conclusion
As the Account Planning Group state in their definition of media planning the planner needs to...
“Understand the customer and the brand to unearth a key insight for the communication/solution”.
This is the key thing that all of the campaigns above have – a unique and universal insight into the perception and mood of their audience. That is the bedrock on which all of the campaigns’ successes were built and that strong foundation allowed the message to work across multiple platforms and gave planners a basis to create truly integrated campaigns.
Unfortunately, we can’t help you directly with that big idea, but this marketing campaign planning template for Expert members will help you plan and brief campaigns in a more structured way as I will explain in my next post.
By Alex Heaton
Alex has over 10 years of digital marketing experience and is currently Head of Marketing at First 10 Digital. With a degree in Computer Science, many years of agency experience and his own fashion-tech start-up under his belt, Alex is passionate about delivering strategic, innovative marketing campaigns that deliver tangible results. You can learn more about Alex's background on Linked In.