MTV Networks and the Power of Multichannel Branding

Check out this interesting article in Mediaweek, “MTV Networks Coins New Sales Metric For The Upfront.”

The skinny: MTV Networks has conducted a study which proves multichannel/multiplatform brands have a higher level of “transference” (or positive brand association for advertisers) than brands that are promoted within a single channel.

Okay, so those of us engaged in customer experience already understand the power of multi channel experience, and it’s clear that MTV Networks understands how to leverage the power of multi channel branding. From VHI to Comedy Central, Nickelodeon to CMT, it has become standard to leverage the web and wireless channels for exclusive content that promises to more closely tie the viewer in with television content.

Viewers of just about any MTV Network program can click for more content and show stopping interaction: obtain episode guides, view exclusive (and uncensored) footage, preview upcoming shows, read cast member commentary, find out what happened “after the show”, provide feedback, interact with other viewers, play games, enter into contests or sweepstakes, buy merchandise, download ring tones, screen savers and much more. Then there’s the wireless presence… I was amused to find the latest clips from “The Flavor of Love” from VH1’s Celebreality on my Sprint PowerVision test phone. VH1 hosts the “VCast,” a daily, wireless broadcast of new and popular music, sponsored by Verizon.

In in MTV Network’s case the residual call for advertisers is this: “You can be cool by association!” Why not, if it works? You might even learn a thing or two. There’s a bigger lesson to be learned related to multichannel marketing: Affinity brands understand how to create a seamless experience across channels and across platforms in a manner that builds and reinforces customer loyalty. Whether you’re piggy backing on the success of a television program or network, or configuring your own experience across your own channels, plotting out the cross-channel experience is a necessary skill in this on-demand era.

...and we’ve got to be able to better measure the results!

What’s interesting about the MTV Networks study is that the Mediaweek article cites no link to the study or figures that illustrate how the transference metric is derived. Further, while this intuitively may ring true to folks "in the know", there really are no statistics that show the difference between transference rates for single and multi-channel advertising campaigns. I combed the press releases and MTV Networks site looking for the study and was unable to locate it. It occurs to me that MTV may want to keep this information proprietary. However, if you have managed to get your hot little hands on this study data, please send it my way or leave a comment here.

All tolled, in a world where the metrics we use are commonly insufficient, it’d be nice to see more true “case studies” that illustrate how leaders are measuring quality, experience, loyalty… and new measures like transference and engagement mentioned in this article.

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LEIGH DURST

LEIGH DURST
I’m Leigh Durst, a 20 year veteran in business, operations, customer strategy, ecommerce, digital & social media and marketing. Simply put, I’m a strategist that helps companies (start-up to blue chip) achieve business shift, create more compelling online and offline experiences. I also write, speak and teach about experience design and next-generation business. I’m a futurist, visionary, strategist, doer and connector with a passion for people and helping others. When I’m not on the road, you’ll find me in the San Francisco bay area, working, beaching it and hanging out with my family and dog.

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