Ashley Livingston

Associate Vice President/Digital Marketing





Of the myriad transformations affecting business today, the convergence of marketing, consumers, brands, and technologies is the most disruptive and promising. If we marketers play our cards right, customers and brands will come together and teach the world to sing in perfect harmony. While close brushes with nirvana do occur, doesn’t it feel like everyone is suffering from BADD (Brand Attention Deficit Disorder)?


Convergence is a surprisingly divergent topic, so we’ve corralled a handful of tidbits to whet your appetite.


Convergence of Paid, Earned, and Owned Media

(advertising + PR + branding = zen)


When companies successfully merge two or more channels of paid, earned, or owned media (a la converged media), they can widen their brands’ reach as the channels work together. Consistency and organization are key, Rebecca Lieb and Jeremiah Owyang of Altimeter Group point out in The Converged Media Imperative. The report also defines converged media, provides examples of brands that have executed successful campaigns, and outlines criteria for converged media success. And this Forbes post includes a thorough list of questions for developing a converged content strategy.


Convergence of Marketing and Journalism

(it’s all a choice of words)


Brand journalism isn’t just a clever job title coined by desperate journalists fleeing a declining print news industry. Journalistic tactics, when applied during content development, result in an engaging (read: non-promotional) brand story customers can embrace. The emphasis is storytelling, not marketing, and big brands are embracing it. Coca-Cola recently announced its goal to kill the press release by 2015, demonstrating a commitment to delivering high-quality, shareable content.


You can be (or hire) a good brand storyteller without having written for The Washington Post or Vogue. These tips from the Content Marketing Institute help content marketers think like journalists, and the CMO’s Guide to Brand Journalism from Hubspot outlines how to build an internal news team.


Convergence of Devices

(at work and play, we have multiple devices)


Have you ever attended a web meeting while listening to voice mails and viewing email on your mobile, or watched TV with tablet in hand? It’s simultaneously exciting and unnerving, but in some ways it allows you to channel your inner Jack Bauer or James Bond. Nielsen is tracking this trend in advertising.


Multitasking is nothing new, but multiple screens add a new level of confusion. Why? Each screen can do multiple things at once, all competing for your attention – a cacophony of information and entertainment.


Or you might jump from device to device while searching for information or watching a video, or stretch your experience over multiple devices simultaneously, like tweeting about a live stream you are viewing.


That is a lot of switching and swapping, and devices vying for our attention. We have to find ways to mitigate this reality, and even use it to our advantage.


As the (Converged) World Turns

(gravity is still working)


Everything hasn’t changed in the converged world. Knowledge of your customer, the need for relevant and engaging content, and marketing ingenuity are still critical. But in the converged world, customers experience (and influence) our brands through multiple channels and technologies that seem to morph overnight.


Our attention is demanded (and we offer it) continuously and concurrently. The noise level is extreme. Analyze the channels and digital habits of your customers, and seek ways to offer consistent experiences as they move from device to device and channel to channel.