OPINION: The world is changing before our very eyes, yet too often as a media strategist you remain doing what you have always done – you need to change the way you plan, buy and execute client campaigns. It has become about what is best for the client and not what is best for your business. It’s no longer about the agency commissions, but about truly allowing your clients’ brands to interact directly with the prospective/current market in a meaningful and cost effective manner that produces results as opposed to page spread or space.
We may not realise it – it seems every day to us – but the current rate of technological change and adaptation is unprecedented in human history! Compare life today to 10 years ago, there are some big differences.
Similarly many of the concepts of media buying and PR agencies were formulated in the corporate era when newspaper, radio and TV were kings, the only problem is we live today in the post corporate era, hence the terms ‘New Media’ and ‘Old Media’.
New media, mainly inspired and facilitated by the internet, is rapidly expanding globally.
YouTube, Twitch, Netflix, and Hulu, among many others, are pioneering new ways to both engage with viewers in a way the consumer does not find offensive, thus enabling a more interactive approach to advertising; something that clients these days crave, with all the data said interactions provide and what that data can be used for.
Similarly, online radio, podcasts, blogs and other streaming sites are ignored or not utilised properly due to an old corporate mentality in the advertising industry.
Traditional media monitoring, while long established, is still based on educated guessing and small market segment research – can you really tell how many people are listening to the radio ad at any giving time? ‘No’ would be the honest answer, but an educated guess is possible.
With online the measurement is exact – for example on our audio stream via the net we are able to exactly pinpoint how many unique IP addresses are streaming at any given moment and via what sort of device, whether it’s a desktop or mobile device, we can even tell you which type of device and through which network and where they are based geographically.
When planning a client’s campaign aimed directly at a particular market segment, why are media strategists not looking at online radio in South Africa? Globally there are reports on how the ad spend into online has increased month on month, yet traction in our market is minimal.
In South Africa there is still a major hesitancy towards putting clients’ money towards the online radio segment. Why? It’s directly targeted to a set market segment; is measurable, is cost effective and allows for budgets to be spread into avenues that will yield results as it’s directly targeted to your clients’ target market.
We have seen some agencies moving client’s ad spend into the online radio segment, yet it’s barely noticeable, however we are seeing clients coming directly to us or via their PR agency to create content for them that is directly aimed at their market and its working – they are getting the clicks and downloads of content. A few brands that have braved the online segment and are getting positive engagement with their market – the emphasis here is on engagement as opposed to just viewing an ad.
Agencies can’t get to grips with online radio
We recently chatted to technology guru, Arthur Goldstuck, about this exact topic and he shared his honest opinion on why media agencies were still reluctant to put clients ad spend into the online radio segment – in a nut shell he says… “because online is so measurable agencies are struggling to move away from what they know to what can be proved. My opinion may be seen as controversial and may even offend advertisers, yet media agencies you are stuck in a traditional way of thinking, stuck in a mindset of the 20th century, yet media has moved into the 21st century and media specialists have on passed their mindset onto the newbies into the industry.”
We look forward to seeing and feeling changes in the industry, if we look at some of the other African markets like Nigeria, Kenya and Zimbabwe – they have embraced the world of new media and its working for their clients – what are you doing?
Ingrid von Stein is CEO and founder of BizRadio.
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