Platforms are Channels and Channels are Platforms – Confused?

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ELEPHANTPARK

One thing that seems to confuse business people Strategy Monsters talk to is the use of the terms Platforms and Channels.

Have you noticed these are fluid terms depending on the context they are being used?

In the context of overall communications the table below shows just a few examples of different platforms and associated channels.

Slide1

Describing Social Media as a platform would make Face Book, Twitter, You Tube and Google+ just some of the channels for that platform.

In the right context you can describe You Tube as a platform with its own individual channels.

Tantor the Elephant is a platform (living billboard), and his channels would be his two sides, tail, head and trunk.   Tantor is able to deliver a separate message depending on where you’re standing relative to him.

JUMBOSALE

Tantor the Elephant is good for the frequency for delivering a message but not great for reach as he moves kind of slow.

The level of engagement could be high due to the “exotic animal experience”.  As a platform he would be best situated wandering a busy mall or park targeting parents with children under 15.

It’s important to distinguish between different platforms and channels if you’re targeting a particular group or type of customer.

Taking a convergent approach to your communications or marketing means using several platforms to reach your target, last century this was called the media mix but now this mix has become much broader across on and off-line platforms.

The significant change is not however in the number of new platforms it’s the fact that most new and emerging on-line platforms allows for a two-way communication flow, where more traditional media information flows just one way.  This allows for a deeper engagement with customers or target groups hence the decline in traditional media platforms.

Knowing what platforms you should be using really depends on your customers. That means insight into the who’s, what’s and when’s of your customers which will be discussed in our next issue of Foot Prints.

No Elephants were harmed or stencilled in the making of this blog

Picture Credits: http://www.bluecranegallery.com

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