Engaging Boomers with OIMC (Online Integrated Marketing Communications)
While preparing for this article I started thinking about "online IMC." Online IMC is the future. Let me explain. First, we know IMC is based on Public Relations, Promotion, Direct and Advertising that work together in a united voice instead of isolated silos. IMC increases effectiveness of a brand's marketing investment. Now apply that marketing concept to online.
Online IMC can take the form of a Sponsorship or Package. We do this across 110 sites targeting Baby Boomers. If an advertiser is targeting women ages 45-plus, we package sites with specific content in mind. Then we place the display ads, add content, and include logo or content in the site eNewsletter and build in social media from the site. This packaging creates engagement and increases conversion.
It takes multiple touches with the same message to increase conversion. Here is an OIMC Baby Boomer Sponsorship in bullet form:
- Display Banner Ads
- Geo - targeting display banner ads (optional)
- Home Page Take Over (optional)
- Sponsored Content
- Sponsored Video Content (optional)
- eNewsletter Inclusion
- Contest or Sweepstakes
- Site's Social Media
- A little more complex package -- we add email and mobile
All campaigns should be customized for advertisers. Some clients prefer geo-targeting display ads, some want gardening or travel content, some want their messages in the site's eNewsletters, and some want it all. Wanting it all is the sponsorship package and marketers are using it effectively. Keep in mind an ad network cannot create a custom package because their business is generally automated. Once you automate anything you lose customization and personal touch. Advertising agencies and media executives know that it's the people that make the campaign, make the media buy, negotiate the rates, write the copy and bring it all together for a measurable result. Some things just shouldn't be automated.
We know baby boomers are ages 47-65. They grew up with technology and are embracing time on the Internet. They are spending 15-plus hours online sending emails, visiting passion sites such as gardening, grand parenting, quilting, automotive, they are researching where to retire and where to get help as a caregiver for their parents as well as spending some time on social media. And it's important to note Boomers spend three times as much money online each month as Gen X and Gen Y. Generally, they are time-starved because of work, family, care giving, planning, social calendar, volunteer and various community leadership positions.
Brands that wish to effectively target Baby Boomers and engage them online should:
- Understand the Boomer's demanding life
- Demonstrate how the product or service enhances their life
- Build trust with quality product or consistent service
- Create an engaging offer
- Create inspiring creative that is visually appealing
- Build a custom landing page with clear direction or offer
- Create content that is informative
- Brand the product over a period of time before asking for the order
All online campaigns are not created equal. My colleagues and I have learned the above research and communication elements from our media careers and from the OIMC campaigns we have implemented recently. As you can see, there are many steps, from research to creative to execution, to build an effective OIMC campaign to Boomers. Every member of the team is important and all of the disciplines must work together for the best results.
One more thing to note, there are new IAB Ad units coming, there are six rising stars worth noting for the Fall and 2012 campaign planning. We are preparing our sites currently. The new sizes will be sure to add more creativity, engagement and excitement in the OIMC campaigns.