Offering access to recognized experts in media planning and settlement administration
Incorporating of all of the art and science of contemporary advertising
Applying data analytics to empirically measure the reach and efficacy of class notice
Leveraging the complete landscape of paid, owned, and earned media
Lowering costs by more precisely targeting the audience of potential class members
Avoiding wasteful and scattershot negative messaging
Investing in an ongoing asset, such as market research, social networking platforms, and the positive branding of outreach and customer care
By offering all the art and science of contemporary mass media, Signal IM also supports the bench and bar to apply creativity, innovation, and technology in the context of class notice.
For example, the rise of the internet (and notorious decline of the print newspaper) is only the tip of the iceberg. Owned media—television channels, web sites, product packaging, among others—often provides innovative, low-cost, highly-targeted vehicles to deliver class notice. The cost and control of this media simply make sense—rather than broadcasting a negative message to the public at large (many of whom have no relationship to the brand), the parties can target only relevant consumers, control the message, and own the communication platform.
By framing the options for class notice in terms of paid, owned, and earned media, Signal IM supports a more practical assessment of cost. Naturally, cost is a critical factor in any notice program.
In addition to paid media, Signal IM assists the bench and bar to also evaluate and implement notice strategies involving earned media (e.g., social networking) and owned media (e.g., product packaging, web site, or television channels). The experts of Signal IM have proven that earned media, such as social media, offers increased demographic targeting and empirical measurements in real-time. Using digital media, parties can now better analyze data during the program, adjust the media, and dial in on efficacy, both in absolute terms and per-dollar spent.
Signal IM contends that class notice program may be properly viewed as an ongoing asset, rather than a sunk cost. Unfortunately, most notice programs today are not viewed as, and do not aspire to be, any sort of ongoing asset. Rather, they are analogous to one-time publication by newspaper—–they are often a large investment in a short issue life; it’s read “today or never,” as they say. At the end of the day, the newspaper and notice program are simply discarded. They are one-and-done, a sunk cost, and unconnected with an investment in an ongoing asset, communication platform, or brand awareness.
In creating notice media models and market research, Signal IM contends that an effective notice program may properly be viewed as an ongoing asset, not a sunk cost. The reusable asset might be the market study, the social networking platform, or the brand of outreach and customer care. With respect to founder Jim Messina, Google’s Eric Schmidt explains, “[C]orporate America, Silicon Valley were knocking down the door trying to hire these guys…there’s a lot of carry-over from political tactics to business tactics.” The same is true of business tactics and class notice tactics. They share a common fundamental goal to reach and inform the target audience.
By and large, the landscape of commercial and political advertising provides an excellent comparative framework to rethink class notice. By adopting this framework, the bench and bar accepts all of the well-established art and science of mass media.
One expert shares, “The media business can be thought of as an ocean.” Without some standard system of organization, mass media planning may be perceived as mystical or esoteric. To compound this challenge, because the many types of media are becoming more and more fragmented, it is critical to adopt some standard dictionary, organization of media, and benchmark metrics to measure efficacy across media and across class action cases.
Signal IM applies a contemporary framework to organize media within three broad categories: paid, owned, and earned media. This organizational framework provides valuable guidance when designing and evaluating a notice plan—the mix of these categories has a substantial effect on cost, efficacy, and waste.
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