Word has it that people’s choice of media has changed. The Media asks marketing leaders to share how their media consumption has changed over the last five years.
“No switching on. No dialling up. No search…Just a single touch into a very tailored and curated world of information…internet media (is now) seamless, painless and rich beyond anything any competing media can offer.”
This is how Enzo Scarcella, Vodacom’s managing executive of marketing, describes what platforms like the iPad have brought to media consumers. These on-demand technologies have changed the ways in which consumers interact with brands. There is now more scope than ever for clever, creative marketing, and for consumers to talk about the brands that interest them. And as more and more people get access to digital technologies, the market will fragment and become more unpredictable. As Nando’s marketing manager Thabang Ramogase says, “Media planners will have to earn their keep!”
ENZO SCARCELLA, managing executive of marketing at Vodacom: Five years ago I would wake up and read my local newspaper and listen to the radio for entertainment on my way to work while observing the intrusive billboards along the route. I watched entertainment TV to unwind and the news before bed. Facebook was my yearbook from university, while Twitter was the idiot who kept us on a game drive for two extra hours while he identified birds!
The fundamental change in my media consumption has been that the internet takes up a much greater part of my consumption, while the reason I listen to radio has moved from entertainment to local news. Today I sleep with my iPad on the pedestal next to my bed. I wake up and catch the news from my favourite international publications.
When it comes to planning, we need to be guided by the science of media planning before we use personal experience. We look at how we can use digital in attracting and retaining high-consumption users, so I guess my experience would come in how we creatively engage with this audience on digital rather than which platforms to find them on. We have sufficient information to guide that decision.”
HEIDI BRAUER*, marketing executive at Comair: Five years ago I consumed more traditional media, for sure. I would read the daily newspaper at home in the evenings, watch news on TV and read the business dailies at the office. Business journals did the rounds at the office with a little label on the corner marking who had read them and they would spend weeks on someone’s desk until the news was old.
The last two years have completely changed the way I consume media and get my news. I am now very active on Twitter and very picky about whom I follow. Same with LinkedIn. I don’t accept all ‘friend requests’. I’m a believer in authentic networking, in the virtual and real worlds.
As far as news goes, I know that if there’s something worth knowing, I’ll find out through social media. I don’t have the time, patience or energy to trawl through piles and piles of news to find the gems. I like bite-size bits. Digital-media-induced-ADD?
(At Comair) we consider all media channels when we have something to communicate and respect each one for its value and relevance.
GORDON MULLER, media planner and marketing guru: The media I consume hasn’t changed much in the past five years, but the manner in which I consume them certainly has. I still read the Business Day, but now I read it on my iPad. I still listen to 702 in the morning, but now I listen to it on my iPod Nano in the gym.
Sadly, I am still committed to watching Arsenal and Sharks every weekend, but at least now I can use my PVR to fast-forward through the ugly bits or pause the game to get more alcohol from the fridge to drown my sorrows!
The only real change is that now my content choice is the entire world’s offering. I get every edition of the London Times and the weekend editions for R100 a month. I have CNN and BBC on tap. Why would I subscribe to the old National Geographic when the iPad app allows me to not only see glorious images of the Titanic but to rotate them through 360 degrees? I subscribe to various RSS feeds and news stories come to me. If they’re relevant I read them, if not I ignore them.
My own consumption habits are totally irrelevant when it comes to strategising and planning. I might think the dumbing down of daily newspapers is a tragic development for our democracy in Msanzi (South Africa), but who am I to second-guess the over 300 000 consumers who buy a copy of Daily Sun every day?
LAUREN STEVENS, SABMiller communications head: Five years ago I was consuming glossy magazines and industry-related publications; on radio, I would listen to 94.7, especially the morning and evening drives and on television, I would watch DStv prime time viewing and sport. I scanned SABC and e.tv at least once a week, listened to regional radio stations and looked at other magazines to see what was going in the media environment.
Owning an iPad has changed the way I consume media completely. I still read the same magazines but I download them and have now extended the list of magazines to international titles that I buy from Zinio (an app that allows access to millions of the world’s magazines). DStv PVRs with sexy TVs have made content so much more accessible, more convenient and much more fun! Now the only TV I watch live is sport. I also have the DStv Drifta and Walka devices and apps loaded on to my iPad so I can access live sport if I am out. The signal transmission isn’t always great, though.
THABANG RAMOGASE, marketing manager at Nando’s: Traditional media has always made up the bulk of my consumption. In order of impact and time spent, it was TV, social media and then print (the Sunday newspapers and motoring magazines) and radio. I was taken by the novelty of Facebook as it inferred a degree of ‘cool kid’ cred, but never connected with the Twitter value proposition. Breaking news came from social media and I was content just to get the headlines and peer opinion on a matter.
Much has changed since then. My reliance on mainstream has in fact grown, rekindling my school day hunger to be ’in the know’ in an independent way. I recognise now that the impact of politics and economics has a real and fundamental influence on my and my family’s future.
TV is still my main source of entertainment, but PVR has changed my programming consumption habits and my (in)tolerance for advertising. Now I will avoid or fast-forward advertising unless it looks new or vaguely appealing at three times the speed! Radio has found its way back into my life with the focus on talk shows that deliver relevance to my life.
SERAME TAUKOBONG, chief marketing officer at MTN: Five years ago I was primarily consuming print and broadcast media. I have always been an ardent reader of advertising and marketing publications because I found them empowering. Finance and executive-oriented magazines broadened my understanding. There is that moment each day when you are alone as you are driving home and radio is one medium that not only keeps me entertained at this time, but also instantly connected to our consumers at large. It’s also important because it continues to keep me updated about what is happening in my environment.
Now, my consumption has drastically changed. I have adapted to the times. Five years on, I would never have thought that I would be using an electronic platform as a medium of communication. It is amazing how much influence a social application like Twitter has on our society today. I couldn’t have imagined being ‘poked’ and this stimulating a need to respond.
Our approach at MTN is focused on market segmentation, gaining insights that empower us to speak and identify with our customer… It helps knowing the diverse plethora of media available and it certainly helps that I consume it because I’m empowered to better advise when the segment we aim to speak to has similar traits to me.
*Heidi Brauer resigned from Comair just before this edition went to print.
This story was first published in the July 2012 edition of The Media magazine.