Yesterday I was asked if my idea of polarization was basically high touch = brand building activity and high tech = direct response.  I don’t thinks so.  In fact, I also don’t think this phenomenon is limited to media:  it a applies to marketing communications as a whole.

Sure brands are looking for love when they engage in high touch activities – consideration, preference, loyalty.  But these campaigns very often also involve opportunities for sampling/trial, being rewarded for referring new customers and other direct actions more closely tied to sales.   The win is engagement with the brand, not engagement with the message.

Direct response marketers have certainly been early adopters at the high tech end of the spectrum.  But package goods advertisers and others looking for awareness and influence play there as well – they want targeted, efficient, optimized, unduplicated reach and controlled frequency.

What does this look like from a creative rather than media perspective?   At the high touch end we see a focus on the big idea that can run across any media and by taken up by the consumer.   At the high tech end, dynamic creative is the goal – copy, images (and of course offers) are assembled from a pool of assets and optimized on the fly.  Again, ads and audience just don’t cut it anymore.

This phenomenon is happening in all areas of marketing communications.  In the social marketing/earned media/PR camp we see a ramping up of high touch activities with more emphasis on events and trans media story telling.  At the high tech end, we see earned and owned media optimized to drive organic search results and the quest to harness the power of social media monitoring.

I sat in on a “virtual microconference” this week that explored the high tech end of the spectrum and it’s impact on every single area of marketing.  The Future of Marketing 2: Technology-drivien Personalization had 60 speakers in 60 minutes sharing insights.   I highly recommend you have a listen.   Find out what leaders from CRM, Social Marketing, eCommerce, Public Relations, Advertising, Publishing, Media, Mobile, and more believe about how personalization is and will change marketing.

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Filed under High Tech Media, High Touch Media

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