CEO Point of View: Spring 2011

In this issue of Logic + Magic, the LFI Team delves into a digital advertising buzzword that threatens to unseat the buzzword kings of the past — words like consistent (a golden oldie), coordinated, and one that LFI uses quite a lot, integrated. Over the last year or so, we’ve heard it introduced, watched it grab attention, and been told it’s already a reality for some of the most savvy brand, marketing and advertising leaders. That buzzword: CONVERGENCE. 

Convergence: n. [kuhn-vur-juhns] – the merging of distinct technologies, industries, or devices into a unified whole. 

What’s unique about this new buzzphenom is that it has very little to do with new thinking. Is anyone surprised to learn that a brand’s marketing and advertising efforts should be “unified”? I imagine that few of us would find this noteworthy, and I suspect that prior to 2010, most of you in the marketing and advertising community were “merging distinct technologies,” such as television, web, radio, social, print and outdoor on a daily basis. 

So, why is convergence important if we already know it and do it? Simply put: the advance of digital media. The last few years have brought an abundance of digital innovations and, with them, a perceived loss of brand control, a larger number of direct consumer interactions, and the dramatic fragmentation of audiences, leading to many ad-hoc responses, stop-gap measures, “testing programs,” and distinct initiatives. In short, we stopped converging. 

The digital marketing and advertising community at-large stopped enforcing the rules of sound branding, marketing and advertising and forgot that digital is a channel, not a methodology. Does this remove the shine from the convergence apple? Not at all. Convergence is more important than ever and, candidly, more complicated to achieve than in the past. It requires brand leadership, discipline, extraordinary planning, and a focus on core messages and interactions. 

We hope this issue of Logic + Magic pulls the curtain back on the principled and disciplined thinking behind convergence and the impact it can have on your business. It’s more than just a buzzword; it’s a way of reining in all the pieces to maximize your brand performance.