In June 2007 I wrote an article based on separating the wheat from the chaff regarding the ‘new media’ that, at the time, were fighting for their share of the advertising pie and delivery in terms of real reach and impact.
For clarity’s sake, the ‘new media’ referred to in this piece is obviously today’s ‘now media’.
My argument at the time was two-fold: firstly reach has to be key, referring to the fact that if only 1% of people who see a message are converted, you want to convert 1% of the largest number of people possible. Secondly, I discussed media types that were engaging with the audience rather than dictating to drive impact, as engagement would drive more uptake and brand love.
Seven years later and I would still argue the same point but due to the advancements in technology there is more new media to achieve advertising objectives. New media refers to everything that is not traditional such as TV, radio, print and outdoor.
In terms of reach, traditional media is still king. Take TV for example. A single spot bought on SABC1’s Generations will reach 40% of LSM 1-4, 33% of LSM 5-7 and 16% against LSM 8-10 in 2013, according to TAMS.
This highlights the power of a programme like Generations with its ability to reach all sectors of the South African market, but that 16% against LSM 8-10 was the highest reaching programme against that demographic in 2013.
Although new media is now mainstream, Facebook reaches 9.9 million people in South Africa and less than half of that number accounts for LSM 8-10. Mxit similarly has 6.5 million+ active users in South Africa and not all of them are in the higher demographics. My point here is simply to say that new media is actually now just part of the mainstream. And this includes mobile, which has such a massive penetration into the SA market against all LSMs. Adding to this, 83% of all searches are done via mobile in SA , which drives this point home even further.
So, reach is still king! But now more platforms allow for more reach. This because of the growth of platforms like Mxit, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.
There have, however, been at least two major changes over the last seven years. These are the new media’s ability to be more targeted, and simultaneously more engaging.
I still believe in the original theory of reaching the highest number of people possible, based on the 1% that can be converted. However, as with all things over time, new media allows for a slight evolution in this theory. Due to the profiling abilities, a greater focus of reach is possible because targeting tools allow for it. Less wastage and greater efficiency is the result.
Back to my Generations example: an advertiser may only want to target LSM 5-7 and limit the perceived wastage of LSM 8-10 and LSM 1-4 by using Mxit, thereby reaching X millions of people on their database that fall into the predetermined demographics of LSM 5-7. Although the reach will be less than Generations, advertisers are still reaching a sizable audience, with the added bonus of close targeting and maximised efficiency.
The amount of niched targeting has increased dramatically over the past seven years all because of the evolution of new media types.
Engagement is another aspect that has evolved over the last seven years. One example that immediately springs to mind is Brandyourcar.com. Upfront let me say I have no shareholding in the company! But what I do like about the company is the base insight behind their offering. Let me expand. Really, they really need to re-engineer the name. It is truly limiting in comparison to what they actually offer, which is a very holistic and comprehensive product, far in excess of mere branding.
As the name states, the company brands personal cars of consumers from a range of geographic and demographic groups. The key differentiator being how their cars are selected. The reality is you are not choosing a car, you are choosing a driver.
What do I mean by that? Advertisers not only select cars and areas to advertise in, but also the drivers that fit the demographic of their product offering. Drivers are also provided with product samples and briefings where relevant. Why? Ultimately, marketers are not only buying the brand awareness created by their cars but also the brand ambassadorial role these people play amongst their friends, peers and the community they move around in. In combination with the driver’s own social media networks, this platform acts as a powerful weapon in the media arsenal.
For example, think about this in terms of impact: 10 people drive around a fixed area using and promoting products at a school where they drop their kids of, at shops, in the malls and at gyms. What about their social media networks and spin-off? Think of the impact that this creates. The age old saying rings even more true here: the best form of recommendation is still peer-to-peer communication in the form of word of mouth.
So in a world where word of mouth is still a brand’s best endorsement, shouldn’t we be looking for more opportunities like this to separate the wheat from the chaff?
Kevin Van Deventer is group head at The MediaShop