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Thaddeus B. Kubis

Converging Technologies and Print

By Thaddeus B. Kubis

About Thaddeus B.

Thad has developed The Institute For Media Convergence (www.tifmc.org), into a leading Media Convergence research group and NAK Integrated Marketing Inc., (www.nakinc.com) an internationally known, integrated marketing resource utilizing emerging technologies linked to print.
 

The New Normal is the Old Normal: People and Personalities

 
I think personalities drive many businesses and many business segments. I don’t have any scientific proof of this, but—based on my experience—it just seems to be the way of the world. Some examples perhaps will provide proof of concept: Steve Jobs, Apple; Tom Watson, IBM; Larry Ellison, Oracle; Mort Zuckerman, U.S. News and World Reports; and Rupert Murdock, News Corp.

Do you agree, disagree?

Larry Kimmel is the personality of integrated marketing. Long ago, Larry may have been called a renaissance man, but today, he is an integrated man—a guy with many facets, many talents and many ways of getting his message across.

His opening remarks at the recent DMA All for One Event, held in New York City, were a clear example of his leadership and his business and personal integration into a field that needs both. Larry’s role as the CEO of the DMA is to me the right person at the right time.

Not to kiss up to Larry, but I would like to meet him all the same. He seems to be as diverse as the media he hawks.

The opening speech he gave was not your typical “welcome to the event” stuff, but was an interesting montage of what we need to do and how to accomplish it. He also defined, in part, the tools to make it happen—all done in less then 30 minutes. With no boring charts, graphics or silly images, his presentation was a creative, visual treat and simple, but right on target.

I have been told that his speech will be posted on the DMA website in the next few weeks. the-dma.org. Larry ended his opening remarks with a story about his dog, Sadie, with this personal story being an interesting presentation about communicating with your market.

Larry was the consumer; his dog the market. When the market needed a walk, Sadie knew how to get the consumer out of a warm bed (Larry says he shares his bed with his computer and dog). Larry eventually gets back into bed and everyone seems to be happy (happy at 4:30 in the morning is in itself a variable term).

What followed over the next two days was a broad array of informative and not so informative presentations; some very well prepared presenters and some poorly prepared exhibitors. All in all, the event was very well worth the effort and the time spent.

Since I speak at events like this, I try to review the information presented—the quality of the speakers, the integration of the topics and the support offered to expand on the information at the conclusion of the presentations. My scale is a simple 1 to 10, with 10 being the best, across the subtopics that make up a good presentation.

I also rate the level of information, a 1 meaning nothing new was presented (been there, done that kind of thing), 7 or 8 means the information was of use and unique, and 10 is a WOW (for Sadie a Bow Wow) moment.

I gave Larry a 10 on the Kubis Measurement Scale (KMS) and the balance of the presentations I attended ranged from 6s to 8s—not bad overall.

Even with these high scores, I did think that a unique opportunity was missed. I felt that the theme developed by Larry should have been used as the driving force behind many of the presentations that followed, but this was not the case. Not a bad thing; just a thing.

My complaint even with events that I speak at is the lack of defined integration of the supporting presentations. The same feeling followed me as I viewed the two floors of exhibitors—something was missing. Was it a lack of integration, a certain flow of services and information? No, what was missing was the lack of use of all the elements that make up integrated marketing. Again, not a bad thing, but a thing.

Integration is the foundation of the future of making, and media convergence will be built on it. I felt that a few presentations should have focused on this newly defined field and address the change that is happening, but again, I am not complaining. I liked what I saw and I left the event with more knowledge then when I arrived—that is always a very good thing.

I also wondered if some of the very same people that presented would offer ongoing clinics that are held under the banner of the DMA to allow the communications cycle to continue and expand on what they presented. Larry noted that the DMA had rethought its recent membership drive and that repositioning provided a 186 percent enrollment increase from the previously used model. So why can’t events like this be extended via the integrated marketing model and provide a greater range of learning? Perhaps we can measure the effort as well.

I can see this link as the near-perfect definition of media convergence, and I bet there is money to be made in this offering as well. A plan needs to be drawn up and surveys taken, reviewed and analyzed.

Larry mentioned that the key component of integrated marketing is data, and I would agree. But, what data is gathered from these events, what data needs to be extracted from these events, how can that data be used and can some of that data be developed into a profit center?

Trade shows have converged and so should events like this one. Linking itself in a fully integrated fashion to other support and integrated media is the next stage of full integration. Just like full funnel metrics presented at the event, integrated marketing needs to funnel itself with media convergence and the emerging technologies of the future marketing mix.

I also have dog that, like in Larry’s example, communicates with me much in the same way your dog does with you—by licking, making very cute sounds and just being integrated with my life and that of my family. Our cocker spaniel does this in a fully natural state, with a level of believability and desire that is hard to define.

That is where integrated marketing needs to go. Once the need has been defined (such as being fed or relived), the proper media needs to be selected (a sound, lick, paw or cuddle) and they—the consumer, with great belief in the message—will complete the sale. The dog is fed and happy. You, the marketer, feel that you accomplished something and even though you left your warm bed, you hold no anger and would lovingly do it all again. That is true customer-centric marketing.

Little was lacking from this DMA event; perhaps, as already mentioned, the need to look to media convergence and other emerging technologies, but a good job all around. Personally I was well treated.  

A sideline comment—there had been a number of “Jersey Shore” imitators at the event, nearly evenly split via gender. The conference was an interesting mix of corporate dress, causal dress, Jersey Shore and a broad mix of everything in between. Sort of like the world of marketing; direct or not, there are many flavors that make up the world and integrated marketing—as well as media convergence—has the formula to reach each one.

So how does this fit within the greater needs of the print industry? Well, from a service integration angle, you need to be aware that your message needs to be defined, on target and ready for view from many angles and with many possible interpretations. You need to control those interpretations so that they will be as close to your message mapping as possible. If you don’t, well you are toast.

Personalities can be great, but they can also be a negative if the personality in question—perhaps an owner—cannot deliver on what he/she presents or if their personality is in conflict with the truth. Larry Kimmel is in the groove with not only what he offers, but also with what he says.

Need to get woken up at 4:30 in the morning to be fed? Don’t call me. But if you wish to discus this blog, then reach out to me at (917) 597-1891 or e-mail me at thad@nakinc.com.

 

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