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    Building Industry Product Placement Know-How for CMOs

    3 smart choices in a market of contextualized commerce.

    What is contextualized commerce, really? It is the act of placing a brand into a specific context, it’s also a buzz word that is making it’s way around the marketing circuit. Michela O’Connor Abrams, president and publisher of Dwell magazine stated, “We believe contextualized commerce is the future. We believe everybody, no matter from which point they’re starting, now is going in that direction.”

    But what does it mean for building industry marketers? My take is that any time we align a brand with another or with information from an outside source, we are adding a new context for the brand. The success of the products are now placed in someone elses hands besides it’s own brand. Two heads can be better than one, but it really depends on the head.

    To help you navigate this slippery slope, here are 3 tips to keep in mind for product placement. Some of these are just common sense, but serve as great reminders.

    3 Tips for Contextualized Brand Placement

    1. Market your brand rather than a product: Brett Renwick wrote a great article for Advertising Age emphasizing that product shots get old fast and you should ‘give consumers something to marvel at on repeat viewings.’ The point he makes is skewed to film product placement, but relevant for any marketing tactic. It’s important to always ask yourself, what is the life cycle of your marketing medium? You don’t want it’s relevance cut short due to an outdated product.
    2. Align your brand with brands you respect: As the saying goes, you are the company you keep. So make sure your partnering company is adding to the value of your brand. Going with a partner based on popularity alone might be the wrong fit.
    3. Employ tactics that are smart, not sleazy: Add context that is of value to your brand and to your customers and be authentic. That ad disguised as editorial content could be coming off as a scam more so than clever positioning. If you’re going to trick someone into noticing your brand, it’s best not to get caught. Or rather,  it’s best to try to not trick them in the first place.


    Additional Articles:
    Whether it’s called “branded entertainment,” “product integration” or “contextualized commerce,” product placement is taking many forms:

    About The Author

    Renae Krause

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