John Farquhar, editor-at-large at Wag the Dog, offers some insights into what’s going down in the media industry right now
Televised advertising growth
Currently the bulk of advertising spend in the U.S lands in the pockets of television broadcasters. However, heading towards the winning post are two relatively young television candidates: the web and the smartphone mobile. The American advertising industry, as well major advertisers, believes that both newcomers will also become serious television media. To ensure they are on the right track they are jointly sponsoring research that will monitor how people watch and react to TV on both media.
If the ad industry in the U.S. can put its hand in its pocket to research media, South African agencies should think about taking a closer look at the African consumer media behaviour.
Twitter is the buzz medium
More so abroad than in South Africa, if a marketer’s communications strategy does not include Twitter the best bet is to sell and move to a tropical island, relax and enjoy life. Without Twitter, marketers are not in the social media ring.
Twitter is not just about sending messages, but more a case of servicing the customer. Examples of how companies use Twitter abroad are illuminating.
Virgin, in response to a customer’s complaint about the airline being late, sends her $200 gift. The airline has a large backup service division that immediately answers a complaint via twitter. The airline is replacing TV advertising with Twitter.
Old Nanny U.K.
During its term of office, the Labour Government did it best to turn the United Kingdom into a nanny state. So much so this ‘protectionism’ is embedded in its culture, to the extent that the Brits no longer trust each other.
Product placement has been part of movies for decades. It doesn’t offend, so the public takes it for what it is. Today, you cannot screen a movie where products have been placed, with putting a large P next to its rating overall score.
Tough times for journalists
The decline in copy sales has impacted on print journalist. Reuters is in the process of reducing its journalist total by hundreds internationally
Some good news for advertising
The Wharton School in the United States, in collaboration with the American Research Foundation, found that word-of-mouth is largely driven by paid for advertising. The research also discovered that print is more effective in creating purchase intent, and that online generates a better purchase intent than television. These are obviously broad conclusions.
WPP goes serious on Digital
After embarking on an international buying spree, WPP is consolidating these agencies into an international network.
Shopper marketing gets the nod
Although it has been obvious for decades, the final tipping point in brand selection happens when consumers stretch their arms out to take the product off the retail shelf. However, despite this knowledge marketers have traditionally focused in pre-selling the brands to consumer on brand value through mass media. Where the action takes place, at the time the buying decision is made at the decision making cutting edge, the retail shelf, got short shrift.
It took a major recession, and cut throat competition for marketers to realise that there needed to be a closer relationship between retailer and marketers, and that the emphasis should be on encouraging sales while consumers are in buying mood in the store. As a result the concept of Shopper Marketer is seen as a priority in retailing abroad, today. South Africa still has a long way to travel down this road before it becomes a reality in this country.
Alert to consumer trends, WPP is in the process of strengthening its position in this area through a new division called Kinetic. This division focuses on out of home media buying and planning opportunities through a programme called Shopper to Buyer.
Fads create lunatics
An examination of the current advertising on Facebook suggests that agencies and advertisers are not thinking rationally when they use the site to advertise. The question being asked it this: Are fanatics or lunatics responsible?
Digital just keeps on expanding
The latest Internet offering is a content recommendation engine that will source content within a site, or other sites, that is relevant to the article currently being read