New media trends for 2010
Ramsay Media Automotive marketing manager, Dean Dicks, looks at some of the exciting opportunities new media platforms will offer in 2010.
In 2009, digital experienced some major changes -- the rise of Twitter, the fall of the economy, shifting and shrinking budgets, an explosion of new technologies - and 2010 is shaping up to be just as dynamic as we deal with WC 2010 as well. Look at some of the other things South Africans have dealt with over the past 12-month period: xenophobia, swine flu, Caster Semanye, Bafana's new coach appointed just before the World Cup kick-off, and now Ras Dumisani humiliating a nation with his stoned rasta rendition of our beloved anthem. So there has been huge excitement in our "real" and "virtual" lives!
As we prepare for the strategy and budget process for 2010, we are aware of what worked for us in 2009 and have to look for what changes and trends are poised to really take the marketing world by storm. Here are just a few growing trends; we are already heavily invested in a few of them and it's not too late for any brand out there to jump in and grab as much land, eyeballs and revenue as possible.
Mobile is moving innovation exponentially across all sectors as more and more people rely on their mobile phones, the web moves to wireless and the mobile applications industry grows by epic proportions. As brands, we need to take notice. In emerging countries like SA, the cell phone is the only means the masses have of accessing the internet. Computers and broadband are luxuries, which is why the cell phone is leapfrogging PC in internet access terms. Cell phone operators, handset owners, mobile entertainment platforms and instant messaging have shown huge growth in content sales, from mobile TV subscriptions to downloading exhaust tones of the latest Aston Martin. There are even more opportunities for brand messaging and content dissemination with the number of smart-phones available with features that include efficient high-speed web browsing, great interfaces and full colour.
The mobile future offers: TV, mobile commerce, vouchers, tickets, location-based marketing, search, social media, etc. It's a HOT, HOT INDUSTRY.
It's not just about YouTube any more - growing businesses must use video. People are more inclined to watch a three- minute "snacker" than read heavy copy online or on a mobi site. Most blogs are moving from text to video because it's more engaging, and we believe the more senses you engage, the easier it is to digest info. With video, you can share across so many social media and mobile sites to get eyeballs back to your own website and make money! After talking to the guys at Dimension Data earlier this year, it seems there are still loads of dial-up clients, which might present a problem in the short term, but not forever. Wait until the broader advertising community catches on - we will see heaps more creative adverts, viral vids and gaming. MMS (multimedia messaging service) is going to be big! With video content, you can push MMS to get your message across, interact and draw eyeballs back to your core products with a strong call-to-action.
Focus on social media - call it business media and you'll start making money
This is a great way to build audiences and continue with the conversation in a very informal way. We believe you need to follow the eyeballs, go where they go and play the new game instead of resisting tomorrow's way of communicating. Going forward, news will come to people via social media platforms, they won't need to go and find it any more. Look at two recent examples: I followed Barack Obama's campaign on social media channels and found out about Michael Jackson's death on Facebook before it broke through traditional media. You need to understand the rules of engagement and just go and be sincere, listen and respond when asked to. In my view, social media fatigue will eventually kick in and social media will simply become one of the myriad ways to spread content and communication.
There is so much information been thrown at us, especially online, that we need people to collate content that interests us, to pull in and create links to our specialised or niche interests. What I have done for the past year is bookmark information so I have an index of content that I'm excited by; the bookmarks are not to homepages but landing pages within sites. The only problem with this is that my bookmark list is as long as a laundry list in a hotel! We already do this in print, eg. CAR magazine finds the best topical, engaging, entertaining content and latest launches every month and packages these as a monthly publication; Ignition TV does it with motoring content on DStv; BBC wraps category content around channels; and DJs do it on radio and in nightclubs.
As I said before, it's not too late to jump in and grab the land, eyeballs and revenue. But it will be too late if you ignore it....