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Creating concentricity. Integrated ideas with digital at the core. So

The line. For years I wondered about the line. Some






new concept.


people were above it. Others were below it. Latterly agencies decided that they were From a marketing perspective this means

through it. More recently the line was sent to Coventry. Banished. Erased. Media neutrality ushered

creating integrated campaigns that drive inwards towards a digital core.

in a new era of “idea-first-channel-of-exe

I can hear the sceptics shouting already. “Digital

cution-second”. A new dawn for integration.

is just a channel….”.

But I think even this approach is already

But it’s so much more than that.

becoming outdated.

Every aspect of our customers' lives is being

Digital technology is revolutionising changes


in market, consumer and brand dynamics

quicker than we are keeping up with.

faster than any previous technology. So although we talk about media neutrality, one medium is quickly become the de facto choice in any piece of marketing activity: digital. Think about it. When was the last time as a client, or agency, a brand strategy or piece of marketing activity was recommended without an element of digital media? (If it was, then perhaps it wasn’t the most complete piece of





Think about your own life. When is the last time you got a camera film developed? Recorded on a video cassette? Used a floppy disc? As more and more of our lives gravitate towards a digital format (music, movies, games, photos, the way we communicate, the way we shop) digital devices are taking a more prominent position in our day-to-day existence.

marketing thinking).

Yesterday the home computer was the beige

So there’s the thing.

Today it’s had its makeover and is invited to the

coloured box that sat in the corner of a bedroom. ball. It’s increasingly becoming the media centre

Media neutral marketing is dead.

of the home both physically (taking its place in

One channel, more than ever before, must be

the living room underneath the flat screen TV)

a part of all marketing plans. Digital. And its

and emotionally (more time is now spent on the

default presence in the marketing mix means

internet than on watching TV).

that we can no longer talk about complete media neutrality. If the idea’s going to work well, it needs to work in the digital world. It needs to work in an interactive world.

And it's not just at home. Just look around on the train journey to work: from mobile phones with MP3 players and the mobile internet to Blackberrys, laptops, iPods and iPAQs.


And that takes a fundamental shift in the

digital media available 24 hours a day, delivered

process of developing ideas.

when and how the customer wants it.

1 © 2006 Carlson Marketing. All rights reserved.

That’s the critical point. Digital media has changed consumers’ media habits.

The purpose of concentricity is to use interactive media to create a customer dialogue, and then use that dialogue to learn more and more about that customer. In turn this helps brand owners to provide more relevant products, services and information.

It’s not simply the amount of time being spent online. It’s the fact that people are more in control of how they consume media. Ten years ago they had little choice but to accept the media

But what does this mean today?

pushed to them through the five terrestrial channels. But now they can pull digital content however they see fit. A recent Independent/Spectrum survey estimated that by 2012 only one in two people would be watching TV when it’s broadcast – the rest would “timeslip” their viewing either through the use of PVRs (personal video recorders) or VOD (video on demand) services.

It means maximising the call to action across all media and funnelling customers to websites or using SMS sort codes to start that customer dialogue. Any direct communication that ultimately doesn’t end up at web or mobile is losing a significant opportunity to enhance the customer relationship. After engaging customers at the website and learning more about their needs and preferences, the customer has provided guidance and authorisation about how to direct future campaigns to them. At this point it is possible to either stay within digitally-based campaigns or move out to other channels based on the customer’s permissions. Even if future interactions include a combination of online and offline, the engagement via the web enables offline communications to be much more relevant. However, with integrated campaigns the core component which the others feed into should remain the web.

There is an acceleration from messages being pushed to the consumer towards consumers pulling the content they need – interacting with brands and services when they want and in the way they want. Even the most traditional channels are embracing digital technology. Take billboards. In a current piece of test activity, posters are being replaced by digital billboards where messaging can be changed by time of day in relation to a changing audience. And that’s another aspect of concentricity: the need to embrace 1to1 marketing techniques.

Although many full service marketing agencies highlight their digital capabilities and note the rise of digital as a key part of integrated marketing, few see it at the centre of all interactions. At Carlson Marketing, our focus is on building relationships whether it's with customers, channel partners or employees, and we know the best way to do this is with digital as the hub.

With digital at its core, all marketing disciplines will increasingly need to adopt personalisation and the skills honed by the direct and relationship marketing world. Consider the current approach to TV advertising - big filmic narratives delivered to mass audiences. The advent of IPTV over broadband and digital TV means that advertisers will have the ability to know more about individual consumers and the capacity to create and send individual advertisements to individual viewers. So even though I may watch Desperate Housewives it does not mean that I want to be told about “Herbal Essences” shampoo.

As digital technologies continue to emerge and converge, marketing agencies and client organisations need to transform their thinking. Concentric thinking is about putting digital at the centre of the marketing strategy. The ‘line’? What ‘line’?

Data therefore becomes critical to every element in the marketing mix.

Jed Murphy

Jed Murphy Digital Director

Paint and Dunlop. In 2004 Jed became Managing Director of Carlson’s Direct Marketing division working across clients such as learndirect, Axa-PPP, Britannia and Citroën. Most recently Jed has spearheaded the integration of direct and digital activities resulting in the Agency winning new business from Hyundai, DTI (the ‘Achieving Best Practice’ channel programme) and Kimberly-Clark. Jed has now returned to his first love – digital marketing – heading up Carlson’s digital practice across the EMEA region.

Jed joined Carlson Marketing in 1993 and is currently responsible for the strategic development and implementation of digital strategy and solutions for Carlson Marketing clients. Jed’s key focus is using the digital channel to build relationships with customers, channels and employees.

Jed joined Carlson from University and has a degree in English & Sociology from Surrey University and a Masters Degree in Computer Science from Kent University. Jed also holds a diploma in promotional marketing, is a member of the ISP and was one of the first marketers to attend the Direct Marketing Association’s digital marketing diploma course.

Jed started his career at Carlson developing event and experiential marketing solutions for clients such as BT, MBNA, Apple Computer and Whitbread (now Inbev), before moving into promotional marketing activities for Beefeater Restaurant, Internet Technology Group and BA. In 1999, Jed set up a small digital unit within Carlson which expanded over the next 5 years to become one of the UK’s top 5 Digital Marketing Agencies (New Media Age League tables). Carlson Digital’s Client list includes: Diageo, esure, Müller, Crown

Email: Phone: +44(0)20 8875 3010

2 © 2006 Carlson Marketing. All rights reserved.

Creating concentricity  
Creating concentricity  

Integrated ideas with digital at the core.