– David Mitchel, Director of Marketing – Distribion, Inc.

AdAge posted an article today featuring CBS CEO Les Moonves commenting why his network is a better fit for media buyers than digital media. One quote attributed to Moonves was: “If you need to reach a mass audience, you’re not going to get that online….We figured out you’d need to buy like 2 million spots on YouTube to equal one “NCIS.'”

The example Moonves uses highlights audience fragmentation, a truism in media today. But even media fragmentation does not change the fact that TV programming has the capacity to draw a single, large audience. There is a reason that it is called broadcasting, and that’s because of broad reach. With regard to broad reach, if one looks back 30 years, the Internet was not widely available and cable was in its infancy. The legacy broadcast networks, like CBS, commanded a much larger share of the audience. In the last 30 years (but especially in the most recent 15 years), we’ve seen a proliferation of media channels coming into play, forcing brands to be more aware of content distribution so as to reach their target audience, which is scattered across forms of media. Brands need to be in multiple places for top of mind brand awareness and fostering the positive brand beliefs that ultimately lead to increased sales and revenue. TV can still have a place in the equation depending upon the brand, but a marketing plan today that does not incorporate digital would be concerning and much less likely to reach its fullest potential.

TV and digital work best as an integrated function. A TV campaign can boost outcomes in the social media space, which is a key part of multi-channel marketing. It is a pretty common practice in TV advertising now to see a reference to a branded Facebook or Twitter account. Using print campaigns that are also aligned with messaging being used on TV is part of integrated, holistic marketing communications.

In all channels, what matters most is the content created. Without compelling content, brand created messaging on TV, in the social space, in email, on websites, video and in print is not going to cut it. But compelling content is really a prerequisite in marketing campaigns. Advanced marketing is dependent upon how well a brand uses the various channels. More effective use of marketing channels is usually measured by reduced cost, and increased revenue. The combination of more revenue and less cost is something that looks pretty on a financial statement.

The multi-channel mix is a lot like snowflakes. No two multi-channel marketing efforts are exactly alike. While multi-channel campaigns have many of the same elements, they are often executed slightly differently as different companies weight the mix and channel utilization in different ways. The best idea is to use multiple channels to get a compelling message out there that frames brand beliefs in a positive light, creating an inducement for consumer purchase.