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10/12/2009 Make Your Media Hybrid

PappaFranks1I wrote a post earlier this year about how we (marketers) need to become hybrids. I've been thinking about hybrids a lot lately, and not only because I'm in the market for a Prius. I think it's time to declare Integrated Marketing dead. We're entering into the age of hybrid media. I'll have more on that later this week, but here's an example of what I'm talking about.

 This weekend I took my family out to a local, old-style family restaurant in Winooski. Right away, this card (leaning against the Parmesan cheese) grabbed my attention. At one point in my career, I would have loved to see this. The restaurant, Papa Frank's, has not only embraced online, it's using its table space to promote it. I like how this shows Papa Frank's thinking around building its database.

Only, it's not enough any more. The problem isn't the idea; the problem is that the card is not a hybrid. It's not interactive or actionable, except to ask someone for yet another piece of paper. At its most basic, Papa Frank's could've put the e-mail address right on the card. But in this day and age of smart phones and iPhones, they missed an opportunity to make this into a hybrid. Such as:
  • Facebook - Rather than an entry ticket, Papa Frank's could've asked people to Fan it on Facebook, along with comments about their experiences. Its Facebook page would become, de facto, the rewards mechanism for its fans. Not only is that easy, but if they have a computer on the premise, they could make a big deal right in the restaurant. That would connect the experience to online back to the restaurant in real time.
  • Yelp - Names are great. Online reviews are better. Papa Frank's might have made the entry a review on Yelp. The database would come from reviewers and they could reward people who wrote. More importantly, the call to action on the card not only helps the writer, it impacts the business through important word-of-mouth. Right now they have 9 reviews. They should shoot for 99 or 199. The contest becomes the action driven right from the table.
  • Twitter - Again, an easy way to let people sign up is to allow them to follow Papa Frank's on Twitter. As an added hybridization, ask people to take a picture of themselves and their meal and post it as a Tweet for entry. Papa Frank's could make the photos into a Flickr gallery, which would increase search results.
Each of those ideas takes a broadcast media and connects it with a dialogue media. The bigger point is that the actions themselves go beyond signing up: they extend the campaign and, potentially, impact others.

It's not integrated; it's hybrid. Just like the gas engine powers the electric engine in the Prius, the hybrid marketing part power completely separate parts and makes them better. Integration depends on silos. Hybridization depends on breaking down the silos.

Hybrid marketing touches everything. More on that later. 


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