Don’t Cross the Streams

Ghost busters photo of them getting ready to shoot all three of there guns

Don’t cross the streams…


Okay let us explain.


One of the most difficult parts of composing an effective marketing strategy is knowing what media to choose without contaminating the the other streams.  You’ve heard me say it again and again, marketing is about hitting the right audience with the right message through the right medium at the right time when they’re in the most receptive mood. While the essence of what you say is the same regardless of any of these variables, the way you say it is dependent upon the other variables. We call the lines of personalization, localization, temporalization, and emotional receptivity by the term streams.

Defining the streams is no easy task. But it’s a feat to create multiple streams working symbiotically to achieve positive results without interference.

I’ve lost you with strategic geek speak.   Let’s use some Hollywood storytelling.

Remember Egon’s famous line from the original Ghostbusters? Take a minute to watch – I’m going for coffee.

While crossing the marketing streams won’t result in Total Protonic Reversal it can create a less effective, and less dramatic, result in an integrated marketing campaign. In Ghostbusters, one of the guys throws his proton stream at a ghost and grabs him. That’s what we want our stream to do. But what happens when one of your other streams attracts the attention of the ghost and he starts getting pulled away from your stream? The ghost, or consumer, becomes confused, not affirmed. While your brand won’t suffer, your ability to attain an action on the part of the consumer is jeopardized.

An example: A hungry business luncher sees a digital ad for today’s hamburger special. Now he’s thinking about burgers. On the way from his 9 a.m. meeting he hears a radio commercial for the same lunch destination and learns that wings are on the menu for tomorrow. His response: “Man, wings sound good. I can’t go two days in a row, my wife will kill me when she sees the receipts. Maybe I’ll head back to the office now and go get wings tomorrow.”

Does the hungry sales guy get his wings tomorrow? Maybe, maybe not. But the local eatery lost a sale today for the possibility of a sale tomorrow.

Yes, this is an oversimplified illustration. But according to research I only have to have your attention to pretty much….here.

Don’t cross the streams.


Featured image courtesy IMDB and © Sony Pictures Home Entertainment