First there has to be an Understanding of the needs and motives of the audience and the state of the brand or an IP. I´ve also used the word Analytics here, but that seems to guide the thinking into gathering data instead of using all the data to develop the content. What this means is that every time content is distributed, there has to be a clear set of KPI´s as well as data gathering. Also just as important is studying the audience. The old school demographics of "urban females aged 25-44" no longer apply, we need to profile our target groups through needs and motives and keep in mind that these differ depending on time, place and economy for other things. Understanding what distribution method works for particular content gives the message a chance to get through the static.
Second comes Content, although the crucial piece of the puzzle (without it there´s nothing to understand or distribute), relies heavily on understanding and distributing. The ideal would be a steady stream of charming, exiting and emotional content, developed to engage the audience according to their needs and motives, in a format or channel of their choosing. This is something that often is overlooked. The media consumption is changing rapidly and understanding how the audience wants to consume the media is vital for any brand or an IP. Finding the balance between the brand message and audience motives is a delicate work, but no rocket science. Nobody wants to listen to a brand or a person, who goes on blabbering about their ideas instead of listening and contributing to a conversation. Basic human communications really.
Third piece of the puzzle is Distribution. The right content, in a right channel, at the right moment. Here the format of the content and the media channel play the central role. No point of showing 30 second pre-roll ads before a 60 second YouTube-video about cats unless you´re absolutely sure your message is more interesting than a grumpy cat (be honest). Good question also is should one use the existing channels or create one of its own. Creating your own media has never been so easy and although the cost of cutting through the static has risen, it´s still relatively cheap if you have content that your audience loves.