One-strategy-serve-two-mastersWe’ve been conditioned to accept that there’s a line that must not be crossed when devising strategy — an imaginary line dictating that media sits on one side and messaging on the other. The idea of a strategy serving two masters is a big no-no! Yet a strategy that does both is, in my opinion, what the marketing world needs now more than ever before. The isolation or siloing of messaging and media strategies leads to increasingly ineffective communication. It leads to ideas that never really reach their full potential or ideas that arrive without context. And it leaves money on the table.

The explosion of access to different data points or to numbers that actually matter allows for a more informed, dynamic strategy and for more information about your core customer. Whether your building blocks are sourced via SurveyMonkey, Forrester Research, Simmons, Google Analytics (which are underused today, in my opinion) or by way of social listening, information has never been more readily available.

Augmenting this with tools and approaches such as BrandZ, BAV or our own Momentum (launching soon), and you’ve got the makings of a strategy that has the ability to craft a message and inform media. Think about it: you not only have access to consumer behaviors, but you also have access to where and when these behaviors are carried out. That kind of understanding makes for powerful ideas. This same approach is reflected in a number of other segments of marketing communications and advertising that continues to increase in 2013.

Native advertising is either the “next big thing” or “The Emperor’s New Clothes,” depending on your point of view, but it continues to see growth on platforms such as BuzzFeed, Twitter, Facebook and IMDb. Meanwhile, the growth of a content-centric approach to communications was one of our predictions for 2012, and it saw continued fantastic examples, such as TNT’s “Push to Add Drama” and Only Jeans’ “The Liberation.”

Real-time buying also continues to grow, and using it to its full potential requires immediate optimization of message, media and user.

This isn’t about full-service agencies or everyone trying to grab food from each other’s tables. Instead, it’s about creating an environment that enables real collaboration and partnership between clients and agencies that will allow for the exchange and sharing of intelligence, creating not only a dynamic idea, but a dynamic media landscape for the consumer to experience. An idea is nothing without the medium it lives within. Therefore, you need an integrated strategy to do both!

This piece is an adaptation from MEC’s annual global report, “Review Preview.” You can read the full report here.

Originally published May 30, 2013 1:00:11 AM, updated December 03 2014