submit to reddit

By B.L. Ochman

“The Converged Media Imperative: How Brands Will Combine Paid, Owned and Earned Media,” a new research report from Altimeter Group’s Rebecca Lieb and Jeremiah Owyang, warns that the lines between new and more traditional media channels have converged and companies must prepare for the continued convergence of media during the next 10 years or be “at a marked disadvantage.”

That’s putting it (too) mildly. Any brand that doesn’t adjust to media convergence now will be invisible in 10 years. Yes, I know that some industries and agencies are just catching on to the fact that the new communications tsunami is unstoppable, but there’ve been scores of books written on this subject and countless webinars, white papers, and conferences devoted to the changing ways of communications. As with all Altimeter reports, it is thorough, well-researched, and well-written. But it seems like old news.

Nonetheless, I’m sure the report’s clearly stated advice will be new and/or helpful to corporations and agencies that are still wondering why their traditional marketing and advertising isn’t effective anymore.

The report contains checklists and recommendations for breaking up silos within companies and agencies so all departments can work together to tell the brand story. It also highlights case studies by forward-thinking brands who have achieved success by integrating media channels.

Altimeter explains that media that is paid (advertising), owned (websites, brand pages and other digital properties) and earned (partnerships, subscribers and those who create and share content of a company’s blogs and social sites) will converge even more thoroughly and rapidly as consumers and digital devices become more mobile.

Some would argue that social media is a fourth channel, and others would say that shared media is another channel. As new media early adopters have known for a long time, convergence has already happened, and brands that don’t understand that will pay at the cash register until they do.

Bonus Link: Why Facebook, Twitter Are Accelerating the Convergence of Ad-Tech and Software