Music Business Product Development Foreshadows Advertising’s Shift Toward Depth On Demand™

“We believe that there is a Jimi Hendrix fan out there at 99 cents and at $9 and at $20 — all the way across the spectrum,” Mr. Block said. “We want to make each fan an appropriate offering. Is the complete Jimi Hendrix on vinyl something every music fan would want? Absolutely not. Would there be a market for it? Absolutely.”

via Music – Supplementing the Jimi Hendrix Experience – NYTimes.com.

Colleagues and friends have heard me talk about the shift from an “or” world to an “and” world. In short, we used to live under “or” conditions: You were a jock “or” a rocker. There was advertising “or” marketing. Old “or” new media.

Now we live in an “and” world. Just look at any 18 year olds’ music collection. Owl City and Dave Matthews and Kings of Leon and Usher and Lil’ Wayne. It’s normal to express and ingest the diversity of what the world offers.

There’s a new attitude and, more importantly, a new mentality among the up-and-coming generation – let’s go ahead and call them Millennials, wtf – that says, “It’s there for the picking so I’m taking it all.”

Meanwhile, the Xers and Boomers aren’t going anywhere. We’re just getting older. However, our media consumption habits — especially reflected in our slower but steady adoption of digital — echo the Millennials. Therefore, I’d say that that all of us “or” era Xers and Boomers are being slowly but surely influenced to become more like the “and” minded Millennials.

Convergence marketing needs to do the same. Instead of looking at a complete “integrated” plan as a compilation or anthology of “components” (the spots, print, digital, WOM, promo, POS, DM, etc.) and forcing ourselves to choose between them (this “or” that “or” the other), convergence planning and the Consumer Decision Journey make us think about providing Depth On Demand — a complete package of this “and” that “and” the other thing.

Why? Well, for starters I’d say the consumer groups we need to reach with the brand story don’t conform in real life to a communication funnel that can predictably “hand off” their decision journey from one lily pad to the next. Our convergence marketing campaign needs to comprise many programs that catch the consumer’s consciousness in the same asynchronous modes of want, need and awareness that characterize the way people inhabit the world itself.

We live in the moment, so the brand story needs to be seeded into the moments — to borrow a line of reasoning from DraftFCB chief media director Bob Bernstein — that are most relevant and useful to her/him “on demand.” Just as Mr. Block from the record label wholly understands that his product (the term the recording industry has always used for its artists’ wares) needs to take different forms to appeal to the diversity within the audience population at large.

Importantly, instead of looking at each component as branches or line extensions that are nominally related to each other, Mr. Block sees the brand (Hendrix) as a property (brand story for us) that is useful and relevant in different modes, each of which derives value in ways that are relevant to the audience or consumer segment. Therefore, instead of seeing the Product as a disc or package that can be “re-purposed” for alternative distribution channels, Mr. Block sees “Hendrix” as a brand story that can be shared by people who are enticed, attracted and motivated to partake of it.

And the people are more than happy to pay for it. The brand has value in every mode. By diversifying its storytelling devices, the progenitor of the brand story increases its value by maintaining its relevance and usefulness in every mode that’s applicable to its audience.

Therefore, when I as a consumer discover “new news” about brand “Hendrix,” I am motivated to allow myself to be pulled closer and closer to partaking of the brand through the Consumer Decision Journey itself. Social objects such as advertisements, promotional offers, video clips, customer-specific programs (a free track on Amazon, for example), on-air content, branding applications (a widget, for example) help me get closer to a brand story that is both useful and relevant to me.

I want to buy it. I’m motivated by it. And I have no remorse after buying into it.

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