“Dewey defeats Truman”
One of the biggest reporting blunders of the 20th century is the picture of newly-elected incumbent President Harry Truman holding up a copy of the November 3, 1948 Chicago Daily Tribune which reads: “Dewey defeats Truman”. The reporting error, caused by a number of polls being conducted over the telephone – at the time still considered a luxury item – led to a skewing of expected election results, which, in a rush to print news faster than any of their rivals, led to the infamous error. In statistical terms, this is called a sampling bias; however, in terms of marketing and advertising, it shows the pitfalls of relying too heavily on one mode of communication and the needs for today’s term: cross-media advertising.
Spread your brand story across all media
Contrary to the idiom of putting “all your eggs in one basket”, cross-media advertising is all about diversification in order to maximize exposure. For example, if a business wants to advertise a new product or service using video ads on YouTube, that’s fine and sensible, as long as all of their potential customers are on YouTube; conversely, if a significant fraction of potential customers aren’t on YouTube, this translates into lost opportunity and lost sales. By utilising multiple channels, like corporate website and blog, social media ads, influencer marketing, Google Ads campaigns, television commercials, to reinforce each other, thus creating a synergistic media message, cross-media advertising is all about reaching customers regardless of their preferred method of interaction. Furthermore, spreading a similar brand story across all media, while slightly adjusting the storytelling to best match each marketing channel, is a powerful way to allow you to move your prospects seamlessly through the sales funnel across multiple channels. (EVS Translations can help you create the right impact in any language and across all channels).
Putting it all together: cross, media, and advertising
Breaking the term down into individual components, we have cross, media, and advertising. Stemming from a shortening of across as well as the original meaning of cross, from the Old English cros and, further back, the Latin crux, meaning, literally, ‘the instrument of crucifixion’, the concept of cross as being different figurative points along a spatial spectrum was first noted in the 1826 novel, Vivian Grey, by (future Prime Minister) Benjamin Disraeli, writing: “How many cross interests baffle the parties.” Being the pluralized version of the Latin adjective medius, meaning ‘in the middle’, our word media is best understood as the channels of mass communication, such as newspapers, television, radio, and the Internet, and can be attributed to the writing of G. Snow in Noble T. Praigg’s 1923 book, Advertising and Selling, where he states that: “Mass media represents the most economical way of getting the story over the new and wider market in the least time.” Finally, advertising, the verbal noun of advertise, which comes to us from the Old French advertiss- (‘to make aware’) and the Latin advertere (‘to direct one’s attention to’) initially appears in the sense of being related to a specific commercial product or service in one of The Idler essays (specifically Idler 41 by Samuel Johnson) from the weekly Universal Chronicle, with the January 13, 1759 edition boasting that: “The trade of advertising is now so near to perfection, that it is not easy to propose and improvement.”
Putting it all together, content marketers are simply trying to use multiple forms of advertising across multiple mediums in order to reach the largest potential number of their target audience, because, like the Daily Tribune (and, to be fair, a few other newspapers of record) with Dewey, no one wants to delude themselves into thinking that they are winning when they are only looking at a single medium or metric.
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