By Leigh Andrews
Advertisers have taken note and are moving away from merely focusing on print-based ads to now incorporating digital and mobile advertising models. Primedia’s Ster-Kinekor chain presents a good example of how the industry is changing and shifting toward the digital space.
In 2010 I blogged
about how the face of the media is changing, “particularly if you consider the impact of the juniorisation
of newsrooms and the impact of the internet and digital connectivity on the state of journalism.” My colleague Darren Gilbert wrote last week that click bait headlines are having an impact on responsible journalism
. And of course, what affects the media industry affects the advertising industry, as it provides the platform for all advertising messages.
Life today is full of distractions, with social networking and the ‘statusphere
’ further condensing our attention span, and we clearly live out much of our lives by staring at screens nowadays, whether working on a PC or laptop in the office, watching TV at home, skimming through chapters on e-readers like the iPad and Kindle or checking our smartphones while out and about. Some of these ads we notice, some we don’t – they have been relegated to ‘interrupting the interruptions
’. But the rise of a focus on all things digital is definitely having an effect on the print media industry.
According to TechCentral
, Primedia’s iAfrica.com
made the announcement in March that the era of Ster-Kinekor publishing movie schedules in newspapers was over as this wasn’t resulting in the attendance figures they had hoped for, as its core target market ‘makes entertainment decisions based on online and mobile media.’ That certainly rings true for me – I can’t think of the last time anyone in my circle made plans that didn’t involve some form of research on a PC or smartphone.. Even with magazines, the trend seems to be that we glean the basic initial information, but to find out more, we turn to the plethora of information available on Google
Around the same time, Jonathan Houston published an article on Memeburn
titled Buy your theatre ‘tweet seats’ today. Really?
The title, in a nutshell, says it all. Houston asks whether we have “really reached this place in our social media evolution” and whether this is the direction we want it to go. He explains that a number of live theatres in the US are dedicating a certain section of the theatre to people who wish to tweet about the show during the show. This makes me wonder if the tweets were prefaced with a spoiler alert, as people seem to get increasingly annoyed when anything but the basic plot is mentioned in an entertainment review. Reader Lindsay Dier, who is a digital marketing executive based in the UK, commented on the article “I'm surprised by this! I work within digital marketing, but am a keen theatre-goer and I even find the light from a phone distracting in a theatre performance! I also think that going to watch something on stage is a time to enjoy and switch off from the rest of the world a bit so you become fully immersed in the production, and if you're on your phone, you're too distracted – and it could be off putting for others. Not a fan.” I think this sums up the general sentiment exactly. The whole point of going to watch a movie in a theatre is to be immersed in the experience – darkness, silence, focused on the movie screen. When I contacted Dier to follow-up, she added that it’s just not constructive and “I’m sure most people can wait an hour ‘til the break.”
But I digress. The point is that brands are seeking engagement with consumers like never before, whether in the form of a tweet about their experience and what they would improve, to launching new product information on a Facebook
page that can be shared, or asking for comments on a blog post. Even with print and broadcast ads, there’s now a trend to include the brand’s Facebook
handle, encouraging consumers to turn online for more information that they can share within their own networks. A survey by Borrell Inc
from August 2011 showed that in the online advertising category for small- to medium-size businesses, social media marketing has the third highest spending share, just behind search engine marketing or keyword purchase and email marketing. So it is definitely on the rise, with social word-of-mouth marketing seen as a viable route to spread a brand’s message. For more on predicted social media and online ad spend globally, click through to the GoGulf.com
We’re increasingly connected and want to live our lives in a way that is easy to share with others – whether we know them or not – online. It’s therefore the obvious choice for advertisers, but should not be targeted in isolation. People do still read print newspapers, they watch TV to relax, and they have the radio playing in the background most of the day, so digital should be seen as complementary, not the only way forward. Do you agree? Share your thoughts on our blog