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Point Magazine : Cover Story (Massive Media) - May-Jul 2011
The media is growing at an alarming rate, with new channels and platforms being announced virtually every month. Yes, Google+, we’ll be watching. But with that comes the frustration of filtering through white noise to make sense of it--unless you start on the right foot Story by Andrew Chow and Adrian Koh Photography Kaden Hoe2 0 M AY-JU L 2011 POINT
massive m ed ia If communication is an intention to reach out, then media is the Good communications channel to achieve that. Good media communications is a holy means good business grail, and most companies hire a bevy of consultants and media agencies to navigate this chaotic and unforgiving landscape. How can I gain “Because the purpose of business Here are two traction in effective is to create a customer, the business important communications in the enterprise has two - and only two - basic questions for media landscape, since functions: marketing and innovation. all business it’s fundamentally “Marketing and innovation produce leaders and linked to success? results; all the rest are costs. Marketing brand owners is the distinguishing,unique How can I make sound function of the business." to ponder: decisions for my business? - P e t e r D ru c k er M i n d i n g th e M ed i u m Humans “look for and are attracted to people who are likeT [them] in terms of values, interests and experiences” psychologists Michael Lovas and Pam Holloway explained, in their book Axis of raditional media has evolved from hieroglyphs of old to Influence. multi-billion dollar news networks today. Collectively, social media users can be a force to be Before the 21st century, print (newspapers, reckoned with. Online communities have succeeded in giving magazines, periodicals) and broadcast media (film, otherwise obscure brands such as Online communities have television, radio) were responsible for according brands given brands like successful online T-Shirt store Threadless.com social bandwidth. . Companies pay top dollar for the mainstream presence. Without social media, the pro-democracyairtime or column inches needed to showcase their brands. Arab Spring uprising would never have gained the traction it did Then the digital revolution struck. so quickly.The Digital Wave The difference in social media? Live communication. People once had to search for information; today, information looks for us.Thanks to huge technological leaps, digital media channels havetransformed mass communications from one-to-many to many-to-many. Digital media, in the form of social media, have become hardwired A major tipping point is the proliferation of mobile devices in theplatforms where brands are merely one voice among billions. market, such as smartphones and tablets, making information Consider the advances over the past 20 years: the more accessible anytime, anywhere. With a small supercomputer,convergence of information technology and communication consumers are gestures away from becoming a brand’s bestnetworks; the popularization and democratization of the Internet; friend – or its worst enemy.the easy access and low entry levels to modern communication The mobile application revolution, spurred by thousands oftechnology. Today, it is easier to create, share and consume startups that create niche mobile services, allows sharing acrossinformation in the digital media space, across demographics and blogs, microblogs, podcasts, websites, photo sharing and videopsychographics. sharing sites. With a broad range of content across a variety of In particular, the advent of social media heralds a new age platforms, audiences create a “live stream” of digital memories,of communications, where people are connected through similar hosted on the web.interests, rather than similar demographics. Yet what makes social Increasingly, audiences are welcoming brands to be part ofmedia successful is not its novelty, but rather how it answers an their live stream.inherent human need. 21 M AY-JU L 2011 P OINT
massive m ed iaAsia: A Digital HotbedOf Asia represents a massive growth area for digital media.According to Internet World Stats1, there are about 825 millionInternet users in Asia alone (as of June 2010). This means over asia21% of the entire Asian population are plugged in – a dramatic622% increase from a decade ago. “Asia is not only home to the largest Internet populationin the world, but it is also one of the fast-growing, said Will ” o n li n eHodgman, Executive Vice President (Asia-Pacific) for comScore,an Internet marketing research company serving some of theweb’s largest businesses. “With most markets in the region experiencing double-digit growth, marketers and advertisers have the opportunityto capitalize on the potential of the online channel to reach andengage a surging number of people engaging in a variety ofconsumer activities online, including reading content, watchingvideo, playing online games, engaging with brands, conductingfinancial transactions and making online purchases, he added. ” But while Asia’s digital imprint is on the rise, there is no“one size fits all” formula across all nations in how they want to be 21%connected to information on the web. According to research commissioned by Ogilvy & Mather’steam of social media specialists in Asia, digital ecosystems aredistinct even among countries with similar levels of development. South Korea has the world’s highest broadband penetration,Japan has about 75 million users who access the Internet chieflyover mobile devices. Indonesia recently overtook the United o f Asia isKingdom to become Facebook’s second largest market. Even co n n ected to th eChina boasts 88 million bloggers despite the Great Firewall,making up more than a third of the world’s total. I nter n etOld Embraces NewBy 2010, print media’s deepest fears were realized. Across theworld, many publications saw steep declines in readership. News-week, once the second-most read magazine after Time, lost morethan half its subscriptions between 2009 and 2010, from 3.1 mil- South Korealion to 1.5 million. Online video streaming sites like YouTube andChina’s Tudou led to sharp declines in television viewership. Adaptation became the order of the day. Hitherto-powerful has the world’s highest broadbandnews agencies and television networks are flocking online in anacknowledgement of the evolution of times. penetration, Japan has about 75 Many news agencies around the world such as The New million users who access the InternetYork Times, Associated Press and Singapore’s Straits Timeshave their own Twitter feeds through which they stream their chiefly over mobile devices. Indonesialatest stories. recently overtook the United Kingdom Television networks such as Singapore’s Mediacorp hasbegun posting recently-aired episodes of their free-to-air channels to become Facebook’s second largestonline, an acknowledgement that viewers no longer wish to be market. Even China boasts 88 millionentirely bound by a fixated schedule. Yet this does not solely represent a top-down model. bloggers despite the Great Firewall, News pick-ups are frequent. Sohaib Athar, a Pakistani IT making up more than a third of theconsultant, live-tweeted the raid in which Osama bin Laden waskilled, resulting in news agencies scrambling to establish his cred- world’s total.2 2 M AY-JU L 2011 POINT
massive m ed iaibility and ultimately rely on his tweets for story updates. The Arab discover where their target audiences were.Spring was another pertinent example, with journalists banned A clear fact is that a win-win climate now involves an inte-from visiting many parts of Libya and Yemen. grated approach combining the strengths of both traditional and While these are ominous signs for traditional media, are digital media to engage, retain and win new audiences.showing that traditional media is not going the way of the dino- A breakout exam-saur – yet. ple is Old Spice, a line of Segments of audiences still prefer old-school journalism men’s fragrances and bodyand editorials, and this has given a second life to newspapers like wash. The hybrid viral cam-The Times in the United Kingdom. Digital editions have recently paign by advertising agen-seen healthy uptakes as these newspapers and periodicals find cy Wieden+Kennedy wastheir target markets. launched in 2010, and first in- volved tongue-in-cheek adver-Media Integration tisements posted on YouTube.Perhaps what was needed for traditional media to survive was to A breakout hit, it garnered mil-find its place in the new media landscape, and making an effort to lions of YouTube views and on- Traditional media outlets vs Digital social media outlets Have authority, credibility and Facilitate word-of-mouth spreading recognition of information and opinions online at the speed of trust Reaches a broad demographic, especially the older generation Connect with enthusiastic fans who are passionate about your brand, Generate brand awareness building brand ambassadors through strategic ad placement Allow instant feedback that brands5 Wall Street Daily: Social Networks Just Crushed “Old Media”…And This New Paradigm is Here to Stay (http://www.wallstreetdaily. can act on to improvecom/2011/05/03/social-networks-replace-old-media/) Allow pilot testing of new ideas with targeted audiences before a full th e n ew yo r k ti m es launch >1 0 0,0 0 0 Sustain a longer campaign through consumer-generated conversations, which are perceived as more o n li n e su bscr i pti o n s as o f authentic and current A pr i l 2011 23 M AY-JU L 2011 P OINT
massive m ed ialine buzz that eventually led to coupon deals, media in-terviews and Twitter engagement. Following the cam-paign, the brand recorded a whopping 107% increasein sales. The concerted effort to engage audiences witha simple big idea that men can be sexier with a bodywash led to the sharp spike in sales. nav i gati n g th e m ed iaP erhaps what was needed for traditional media to survive was to find its place in the new media landscape, and making an effort to discover where their target audiences were. Audiences now expect integratedcommunications: they want to be spoken to (traditionalmedia), they want to speak out and speak with brands(digital and social media)Engagement Is The DifferenceIt is no longer enough to sell straight to the customer.In 2010, an IBM consumer survey found thatconsumers wanted retail brands to be more interactive Engaging Generation Yand engaging online. The survey, which involved 32,000 onlineconsumers from China, India, United States, Canada, The Generation Y, born during the lateBrazil and United Kingdom, showed that the modern 1970s to 2000, were the first to fully adoptshopper is smarter and more informed throughproduct discussion and information consumption via digital and social media as a lifestyle. As aFacebook and Twitter. result, brands started to engage with them, Consumers want to talk to brands too. 75% ofthe respondents said they want to be informed where designating popular online influencers intothe nearest store is while 68% want to be able to brand ambassadors. These virtual celebritiesknow if an item is in stock via their mobile phones.79% of shoppers also want the option of printing endorse these brands by integrating them intocoupons from websites. their lifestyle. “It’s a smarter consumer out there, one whois really willing to engage with the retailer, explained ” For example, LG in Singapore recruitedShannon Miller, a business development leader forIBM’s Global Business Services, “retailers can tailor 7 notable individuals in social media totheir strategy for each of these technologies to address contribute a story of their lives for 7 weekswhat the consumers are asking them to do. ” “We are in a shopper’s market today, because revolving around its new product, the LGconsumer access to technology and information gives Optimus 7. As these people hail from all walksthem all the power, said Jill Puleri, a global industry ”retail executive at IBM Global Business Services. of life, they strike a chord with the man-on- the-street, creating strong interest in LG’s range of smartphones.2 4 M AY-JU L 2011 POINT
massive m ed ia Strategizing Communications Through Content 01 02 03Original content Co-created Content User-generated ContentWith social media, anyone A result of collaboration The most creative andwho can create unique with brand ambassadors convincing type of content iscontent holds the power of who identify with the brand also the type that businessbroadcasting. Business- and thus contribute co- leaders must accept theyowners now share the owned content, which bears hold no control over. Suchonline space with their the mark of both the brand content is representativetarget audience. Original and the user. Businesses of the user’s perceptioncontent, such as advertising may exert some degree of of the brand rather thancampaigns, will be picked control over such content. the rigid confines of itsup and shared among predetermined elements.audiences. The focus is on The focus is on the brand’scommunicating your brand’s popularity.values and promise to theaudience. “Retailers cannot afford to sit still as this digital revolution The old mantra goes that “the customer is king” And the .happens. They must engage plugged-in consumers in new and king wants to have a conversation.different ways, on their terms, and with more bi-directionalfeedback and dialogue. ” The Right Mix The IBM survey also showed that if retailers could provide A comprehensive media strategy is a hybrid of traditional andmore interactivity through customized promotions or ensuring social media to reach target audiences effectively. product availability, 61% of Many brands have discovered that a long-term, sustained consumers are willing to spend social media strategy that runs alongside a traditional media more. campaign pays dividends in terms of both drawing eyeballs IBM found that emerging and building loyalty with customers. Global cruise liner Royal market consumers of India, Caribbean’s efforts to engage popular bloggers online has China and Brazil are almost consequently raised its profile in Singapore. Paired with a strong twice as willing to use multiple promotional campaign, Royal Caribbean has secured a sizable technologies for shopping and mindshare and brand recognition in the country. making purchases, highlighting Evidently, a campaign that opts for one form of media the huge uptake in new exclusively over the other will miss out on opportunities that a technologies there. hybrid strategy can give. There are some key considerations in 25 M AY-JU L 2011 P OINT
massive m ed ia Distinctive Features of Traditional Media And Social Media traditional media social mediapower Pitching Engaging Spinning Conversation Reporting Sharinginfluence Press Conference Social Networking Campaign Collaboration/Feedback Authority Authenticityreach News Sharable Content Circulation Community Database Networkdeciding the right balance, including brand communications leaders may want to consider hiring a community managerobjectives, level of commitment to customer engagement, and a dedicated solely for this.risk appetite for failure. 4. Competitive Insights Invest in third party monitoring platforms to audit your competitors. Be aware of their progressRestructure For Success and latest social media strategy Provide at least a monthly updateBe open to changing management structures and acquiring of competitive insights to key managers in terms of share of voice,resources to support a strong hybrid media strategy. Here are key conversations and topics that target audiences are discussingeight steps that will help you prepare a sound strategy for your heavily.organization. 5. Staff and Resources Form a strategic task force across 1. Senior Management Support There must be a different business units within your organization headed by yourcommitment to social media as a long-term priority. C-level head of communications, who must be well versed in social media.executives must contribute content for social media, particularly The chief role of this task force is to provide quick turnarounds forwhen responding to crises. Internal feedback is just as important communication objectives, particularly during crises. Many expertsas those from your customers. in the market can provide consultancy to audit and structure this 2. Social Media Knowledge Decision makers must team, together with proper training and contacts to upgrade the ITunderstand the different social media channels and decide which systems internally to support this.are most suitable to the organization. They will need to engage 6. Channel Prioritization Your social media strategycommunication industry leaders through peer groups and needs clear and measurable objectives, targets and initiatives.conferences to familiarize themselves with latest developments. Analyze and prioritize your channel options and engage the most 3. Customer Engagement Apart from customer feedback feasible ones. Do not go for a broad, shotgun approach as thisforms and “contact us” links on your website, create your social will make strategies less effective in transmitting a brand’s orpresence online through networking sites where your target business’s message.audience already resides. Engage your customers on a personable 7. Process Documentation When incorporating andmanner. Contribute positively and moderate discussions. Business integrating social media into your marketing mix (product launches,2 6 M AY-JU L 2011 POINT
massive m ed iamarketing plans, customer service etc), develop a project plancomprising editorial calendars for content, publishing deadlinesand update schedules, among other key communications activities. What Social Media 8. Measurement and Governance Third party monitoring Analysis Will Yieldtools can measure activity and conversations online. This willbe helpful to track and monitor progress and evaluate keyperformance indicators (KPIs). You can also keep up-to-date withhow employees, contractors, prospects and customers are talking Learn what people are saying about youabout you. Also develop an internal social media usage policy inthe organization for employees, contractors and vendors. Create buzz for events & campaignsThe Future of Social Media Increase brand exposureIt is important to continually observe shifting audience trends todetermine which platforms they are gravitating toward. A few have Identify and recruit influencers toemerged in the mainstream over recent years: spread your message 1. Social Gaming Gamification, a new and excitingdiscipline in social engagement is gaining steam. This involves Find new opportunities and customersdeploying game mechanics often seen in computer or consolegames to non-game activities to make these activities fun and Support your products and servicesengaging. Part-art and part-science, gamification is the next leap inconsumer engagement. Improve your search engine visibility 2. Mobile Meta Optimization (MMO) Going mobile isessential for businesses and brands in the 21st century. Today, Gain competitive intelligencemobile is the fastest way to take your business global and personalat the same time. Get your message out fast 3. Advanced Streaming The need for real-time updateshas made Twitter the choice platform for breaking news. Usersaccustomed to instant information will seek high fidelity andquality streaming to satisfy their need for immediate access toon-demand content. 4. Interactive Lifestyle It is not enough to spread yourkey message or unique selling proposition through marketing,advertisement or promotion. Brands will need to cater for instantfeedback to their messages, and responses must be swift.Strategies such as customer relationship management (CRM) andthe sales management process must be constantly reviewed toensure satisfactory levels of interactivity.Reaching OutHave fun engaging your audiences. While there is no textbookformula that will fit all brands, such measured risks will pay offmulti-fold dividends as your brand gains traction through effectivecommunications. Sustaining an online presence, aside fromthe quintessential website is a key journey to engage your keyaudiences, and discover where they are holding conversationswith each other and participate in them. 27 M AY-JU L 2011 P OINT