Yearning for more “hits” than “misses” – Disruption in advertising content development?

In the world of proliferating broadband content distribution outlets such as YouTube and Hulu, and portable streaming video devices such as iPads, the marketers have been forced to apply novel approaches to reach their “not-so-captive-anymore” audience.  In an environment, where the consumers are able to choose what they watch, when they watch, and how they watch, I believe it is imperative that the marketers seek innovations to “pull” their audience rather than continue to mass broadcast and hope to get lucky. The fundamental goal in the marketing world is to find the right message to connect with the targeted audience and to drive the audience behavior in order to increase company’s top line, thereby maximizing advertising return on investment (AROI). In the current state, the advertising executives are limited to the talent available within their marketing department to produce creative content in order to effectively communicate the value proposition of their products and/or services. The results are “hit-or-miss” advertisement content with low AROI. Herein lays an opportunity for someone who is able to solve this pain by facilitating generation of ad concepts and content that have higher likelihood of acceptance by the consumers.

What if there was a way to maximize this AROI by providing a platform that will increase the probability of a “hit” advertisement? An approach to enable marketers to validate the effectiveness of their message while minimizing the overall production cost and the risk of failure.  This new approach involves forming and maintaining an online “Intelligent crowd” community of selected multidisciplinary individuals, interested in creating contents, a platform to allow such individuals to connect with marketers seeking content for a particular product and/or service and an intermediary to facilitate the process. The model is similar to the Seeker-Solver model of InnoCentive, which utilizes open innovation to solve complex problems. Under this new model, the firm seeking a content-related solution will specify its needs, the members of the Intelligent Crowd will produce content based on the published needs, and the intermediary firm will facilitate the process to specify, produce, and evaluate the competing ads. Finally, the intermediary firm will also facilitate the transfer of the intellectual property rights for the winning ad from the intelligent crowd member to the marketers and the transfer of a pre-specified reward from the marketers to the winners.

This is an innovative approach to produce ad content because it not only results in a better targeted ads, but also the process itself acts as a viral marketing initiative for the firm involved, placing its products and/or services in front of its prospective buyers from day one. It also overcomes marketers’ limitation of being restricted to the talent within their firms and it does so in an inexpensive manner.

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