New media vs traditional media: my take
In today’s technologically advanced world, consumers have gradually shifted from traditional media to new media outlets such as social networking sites as a way to obtain information. One message can now be sent to millions of people. This allows one to market, connect, interact, and get feedback with and from their consumers.
In light of this, social media today has become a very powerful tool in marketing for businesses. Big brands like Coca-Cola, Google, BBC, Apple and AIG have one thing in common, a massive audience on social media.
Unlike the traditional media scene, new media provide real-time communication, thus availing users the opportunity to engage in a two-way conversation with active brands on the platforms. This seamless transition at any given time makes the experience of interacting with brands more appealing and illuminating to the consumer.
For the brand also, this new development means that managers can measure the effectiveness of their messaging and tweak to suit the objectives of consumer engagement. This way, crisis management and audience perception to new products/brands are better managed.
In Nigeria, some brand managers are still stuck on the belief that traditional media remains the king in terms of influencing audience perception; and thus turn up their nose at making significant investments in new media. While this may be true, depending on who you ask, I think anyone ignoring the reach of new media in Nigeria is doing so at his/her detriment.
The fact remains that Nigerians will talk about your brand on new media, whether you have a presence there or not. Another fact is that this conversation about your brand affects your market share. So it is logical that brand managers take ownership of their online media space to enable them influence conversation there.
On social media, for instance, smart brand managers are increasingly recognising that the hitherto socialising nature of the platforms is evolving to a market/business mentality. The number of Nigerians and Nigerian brands present on these platforms keeps increasing regularly, while the number that reads print newspapers keeps dropping.
While some brands have flatly ignored this trend, others have only half recognised its significance and are playing half-heartedly with new media presence. The winners are those brands that have looked at the numbers and harnessed this medium.
These days, one million views on YouTube or 3 million impressions on a Twitter campaign (C&F Porter Novelli recently hit 2.77 million impressions on the #AfricaCities campaign for The Economist Conferences) would have a more significant influence on the growth of a brand than a centrespread mention in any of the national dailies.