On The CMO Agenda — The Future Of Digital Marketing Is Platform-Agnostic

By Aqilliz  

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The reality is, the so-called digital future isn’t on the horizon: it’s now and it’s here. Over the past year, brands have witnessed the beginning of an evolutionary change that will see digital-only rapidly interleave into the physical world.

Now, more than ever, media consumption is a digital game. The proliferation of smartphones and internet connectivity has provided consumers with the option to access media content—be it information, entertainment, or social activity—from anywhere and at any time. So how do you create campaigns that resonate with your audience in a world where they’re scattered across hundreds of different platforms, each engaging with content in their own way? You need to stop worshipping at the altar of a handful of platforms and get agnostic.

Here’s what that means.

Marketing in a Multi-Platform World

There’s no one standard way of engaging with the media anymore. Consuming a piece of content is a living process that reaches across a wide range of platforms, channels, and devices. The modern consumer wants to be able to discuss it, praise it (or slam it) on social media, share it with their friends, or even create their own content in response. As consumers adopt new ways of interacting with media, marketers can’t afford to lag far behind and be confined to an inflexible approach to their communications.

In a landscape where content simply can’t be contained by a single platform, it makes no sense to take a segregated approach — there’s simply no such thing as a purely Facebook or YouTube campaign these days. Today, every digital campaign is integrated and has to take into account multiple platforms and channels.

The concept of ‘platform-agnostic’ refers to a set of specific attributes normally associated with software. When software is platform-agnostic, they’re free from any ties to a specific system and run equally well across more than one platform. Because of this built-in resilience and flexibility, such software is cross-compatible, interoperable, and can run undisturbed on any device or operating system.

In a world of media and technological convergence, this concept also applies to content and marketing as it can be used to define all material that is meant to be transmedia and omnichannel. Platform-agnostic content is built to exist in different forms across various platforms and media, each one supporting the other while building an overarching story comprising different assets that are scattered across multiple outlets.

Liberated Content: Open, Adaptable, Flexible

As the digital world continues to change and evolve, it’s never been more apparent that marketers need technology that’s flexible, interoperable, and adaptable. A platform-agnostic strategy is one that takes content and figures out how best to distribute it across a variety of different channels and devices. It’s output-driven, using whatever digital tools and media available to meet its objectives.

In order to execute a platform-agnostic strategy, your goals need to inform the platforms you use, not the other way around. Success depends on how responsive and flexible the content format is over different platforms and digital channels, and how they can come together to reinforce the key message in a captivating and engaging manner.

Marketers will need to learn how to strategically leverage different types of assets, technology partners, and solutions in order to identify and select the ones best suited to fulfilling the actual needs and objectives of the campaign. On the flip side, using the wrong tools and platforms can send even the best content into the hazy nothingness of content purgatory, never to be seen again.

Grounded By Consumer Centricity

Platforms will rise and they will fall. Users might move from Facebook to Instagram to Snapchat to Clubhouse, and the one that holds their attention, is ultimately the one that outlasts the others. When a platform’s usage declines, so does the effectiveness of any content that sits on it. Conversely, a consumer-centric approach is one that won’t be dependent on the popularity of any particular technology or digital environment.

Rather than hunkering down in the safety of the walled gardens like Google, Facebook, and Amazon, making the effort to understand the platform ecosystem and how your consumers interact with it will be key to unlocking the right channels for your marketing strategy and achieving more powerful, targeted engagement.

The reality is that the endless new formats and insatiable hunger from people to consume more and more content has left marketers with a major challenge in scaling up their creatives. Personalisation and emotion-led marketing can still be effective, but the quality of the message sometimes gets lost in the need to fill a vast online space. Ultimately, marketers need to remember that platforms are just a medium to carry their message and that when it comes to connecting with customers, the quality of the message matters the most.

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