TV Nets Lack Digital Focus

NEW YORK TV networks have embraced digital media for promoting their top shows, but some networks lack cohesion in their online marketing efforts, according to a report released by search agency 360i.

360i’s survey said that while the majority of networks have expanded their marketing effort to include e-mail, blogs, mobile and social media, too often their digital efforts lack coordination, as these companies frequently turn to multiple partners to implement such efforts. The result, particularly when it comes to coordinate efforts in social media and search, is that individual digital efforts don’t yield as much collective impact as possible.

According to the report: “Emerging media formats represent exciting opportunities for marketers to push the envelope with creativity and innovation, but they need to be tied into an integrated campaign strategy where each dynamic channel directly influences the other in an integrated media ecosystem. With consumer experiences transcending channels, marketers should avoid running emerging media campaigns—particularly social media—in a vacuum.”

Such a vacuum can result in fans of network shows getting lost when shifting from various channels, whether they visit a network’s Web sites, video-sharing and social sites or wherever TV fans congregate online.

“Marketers typically run social media campaigns as separate entities, and often social networks, blogs, mobile marketing and other channels are run by different people or groups,” said David Berkowitz, 360i’s director of emerging media. “What’s clear from these results is that marketers must learn to connect the channels so that the sum is greater than each of its parts. When all the channels are connected, it will be easier for consumers to navigate through the entire campaign and remain engaged with the brand.”

Among the 35 networks that 360i examined for the report, the vast majority, or roughly 80 percent, already participate in mobile media, podcasts and blogs. As much as these networks are bought into digital, however, they are slower to adopt the most cutting-edge tactics, said 360i.

Just 14 percent of networks monitored YouTube in some fashion, for example, while only 8 percent leveraged emerging media opportunities like wikis or content mash-ups. Few if any networks have attempted to tap into book-marking sites such as or del.ici.ous, according to the report.