Technology changes behaviour.
From the days of print publishing to the World Wide Web, the world has witnessed and experienced profound changes in the way people communicate and exchange information.
One mode of communication, Word-of-Mouth, has evolved and burst forth rapidly with the leverage of social media technology. Prior to the dot com days, people shared word-of-mouth individually or in groups, communicated through telephone, over meals or during communal gatherings.
Today, technology has turbocharged word-of-mouth, as if feeding it with digital steroids; allowing sharing to spread over groups and communities of people like wildfire.
This has altered the landscape for communications, redefining the landscape of digital marketing.
Digital Media Statistics
Let’s look at some statistics for both Asia and Singapore:
According to We Are Social, Singapore, there are more than 1 Billion internet users in Asia. In terms of trends, evidence points towards a compelling trajectory of digital consumption across Asia. Consider these numbers:
New internet users every month: 11,350,000
Videos watched (in June 2012): 45,000,000,000
New Facebook users each month: 10,000,000
In Singapore, more than 70% of the population are internet users:
|population||5,353,000||country internet penetration||75%|
|internet users||4,002,048||internet penetration||75%|
|social network users||2,869,360||social networking penetration||54%|
|mobile subscribers||7,846,100||mobile penetration||147%|
Landscape Feature #1 – Forget One Way Flow Communication
Unlike the past where business communication flows uni-direction to consumer, with the rapid growth of digital media and marketing, information not only flow from company to consumers, it also flows between consumers to consumers, and consumers to company.
Landscape Feature #2 – Consumers as quasi publishers
Not only are consumers just plain consumers anymore. They have evolved to become quasi publishers on digital media platforms.
As coined by Nielsen, the buzz and content generated by consumers are also known as Consumer Generated Media (CGM.) Today consumers are sharing their feedback and opinions over digital platforms such as blogs and Facebook, winning followers and fans, establishing themselves as pillars of digital influence. As CGM is well studied and known to be of high trust value to consumers, businesses today are finding themselves competing directly with CGM to be heard. Businesses need to manage this phenomenon tactfully and if possible, collaborate with influencers within CGM to produce an enduring marketing strategy.
Landscape Feature #3 – Tidal surge of customers’ data
Essentially, this is a good thing.
As digital marketing produces rich data from online traffic, buzz and marketing campaigns, companies are now task with the challenge to decipher and discern customers’ insights, and to act upon it. Interestingly, the old axiom of marketing being more of art than science has turned around: it has actually evolved to become more scientifically driven than pure art inspiration.
Landscape Feature #4 – Digital Emergence of Social Networks
With the tidal acceptance of social networks, this has allowed interest groups and communities to develop rapidly. This has also made it much easier and convenient for businesses to engage with customers. For instance, companies like Loreal have sought to set up an online platform to directly engage with their customers and fans with regards to facial make-up. Such methods can be very effective in building a fan base and to esteem your customers by corresponding to their feedback at a personal level.
Landscape Feature #5 – Quality Content: the Currency for Digital Marketing
There are various kinds of content: video, image and text. Depending on which you have and able to utilize, it will extend the reach of your digital marketing presence. Simply put, the more quality content you have, the more resources you have to manoeuvre on the digital marketing landscape. Today, companies are hiring editors and journalists forming an online editorial team to produce high quality content that consumers can delight in and respond to.
What This means for Businesses?
With the seismic shift of consumers paradigm and being more attuned to the CGM phenomena; many companies have become more embracing and relinquish control of information to acknowledge the power of consumer’s voice. Public Relations units are gradually recognizing that no longer are they gatekeepers of information, but creator and participants of content development.
Interestingly, in larger companies, there may emerge new executive roles such as Chief Digital Officer. Their primary roles would be to assign and delegate digital marketing responsibilities.
With this new wave of Digital Media, digital marketing has essentially evolved to one that embraces not only the values of consumers, but the voice of them as well. Truly, if a company has a great product and works closely with their consumers turning them into their product evangelists, there lies a great potential to multiply the company’s marketing efforts through the rich digital media landscape.