Pre-media Communications & Mashups


After a great couple of entries from Sean, I thought I’d produce a little follow-up on something that maybe we have ignored a little in our past communications. One subject that is fast becoming a must have in the Pre-media space is the ability to have bi-directional communications within your message. This translates to the ability to collect data and re-manufacture the media communication to the consumer.

Eh? Come again? OK, let’s use a simple example; when we generate printed material, that material is one way. It is like a blanket bombing of your communication, one message for the masses! Some of the dynamic publishing systems do of course allow the message to be more specific, for instance we would send out a mail blast and it might dynamically replace content for us:

Hi [firstname], how is [company name] performing during the recession?

We stepped up the communication by personalising it to the person we are sending it to, but now we are able to take this communication so much further by gathering greater information about the user’s interaction with the content we send them. OK, OK in print this is pretty hard and probably the best we can do is add a PURL to get them to come online to see something personalised where we can gather more information. But actually we can do even more….


QR Code to Pre-media on Wikipedia

digimarcThere are a lot of examples where QR codes are being used to direct the end users to specific locations. Then there’s the brilliant technology from Digimarc where they can embed invisible watermarks into printed images that can be read with software on your mobile phones. Behind all of these channels of communication there is a desire to gather more information about the end-users and the more information that you have the better directed the message can be and the more information the end-user wants to offer in return allows you to ensure that the message is relevant. This is nothing new as companies like Carphone Warehouse have been working with their pre-media supplier for years to do just this. They utilize all of the the information that they have gathered about their users to produce dynamically created information that those users actually want without even knowing it – these can range from suggested phones when their contract are up for renewal, better price plans based on their usage preferences or even tips on using features on their handsets. This results in some really tangible added value, better interaction with the client and greater brand credibility and value.

In more and more cases supermarkets are using (or should I say supplying) their pre-media companies statistical purchasing data so they can advertise products correctly in different areas. This could then be used with household population and age demographic data to ensure that the consumers are getting the best deal.

Also, I’ve previously discussed how user data could be used in newspapers to target advertising that caters for specific tastes if the newspapers where printed on demand. This would be the ultimate mashup opportunity for news media as not only would the user select the type of news they wanted to see, but the newspaper could also communicate back the correct type of advertising, a win-win for both news corp and end user….

We see all sorts of mashups where media has been used from multiple sources and pulled together as a form of content to be delivered back via multiple channels and we are seeing that more and more pre-media applications are homing in on the delivery channel of social media. Take for instance the forthcoming Adobe CS5 which is rumoured to have more focus on collaboration than ever before and seamless integration for media between different Pre-media channel applications.

With so much flexibility already at our fingertips the big question is; are companies that present themselves as ‘Pre-media’ companies able to fully exploit the delivery channels that the brand owners require in this modern and highly social world.

Author: Gary George

Creative Commons License

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 2.0 UK: England & Wales License.

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