Back in the day, when one had to get their product or service out in the market, they would have to rely on traditional media such as the newspaper, TV ads, magazines, fliers, billboards, radio and word of mouth marketing. It wasn’t that long ago when fortune-500 companies were holding a pretty solid monopoly on most mainstream media channels, which meant they had complete control on the kind of products we were being informed of, the services we had access to, and the lifestyle we desired.
The main reason that small businesses were facing difficulties in being successful was because the cost of advertising and marketing was so immense that smaller models could never break even. Only the big fish could survive the cost of ad space and come out the other side with enough profits, or simply because they had the deepest pockets.
In today’s digital world, we are seeing many successful startups, small businesses, and individuals selling homemade products pop up at every corner. Why such a drastic change in the global professional environment? This is due to the digital transformation of our market. People are looking less and less at traditional media for their information, and turning straight to digital media. On average, people check their Facebook feed 14 times in a day. Social media platforms, search engines, and influencers hold most of our attention, and frankly, our trust.
“We’ve moved from digital products and infrastructure to digital distribution and Web strategy to now into more holistic transformations that clearly are based on mobile, social media, digitization and the power of analytics and we think it’s really a new era requiring new strategies.”
– Saul Berman, IBM
Refer to the graph below from businessinsider.com to understand how the shift is happening.
Here are 7 key digital media trends to watch for:
1. Content being intelligently curated-
With the rise of content distributors and aggregators like Netflix and Youtube, the new content that is generated is tailored for our liking, based directly on how we’ve reacted and consumed previous content. Due to data analysis and an in-depth understanding of individual customers, digital media can now dish out content which they know we will consume. With traditional media, there were alot of hit and misses.
2. Mixed and virtual reality-
With giants like FIFA creating unique experiences like 360 VR experiences for their fans, and Pokemon Go going viral, filling this need gap is definitely a something that digital media will expand into. It will be an ongoing process of media transformation.
Gone are the days when we would watch cable TV for hours on end. Today, it’s hard to keep a conversation going without constantly being interrupted by various media we have access to in the palm of our hands. So when media is being consumed, it’s consumed on multiple channels, at once. Targeting all channels is key point in having effective digital communications.
4. Artificial Intelligence-
As mentioned in Forbes, In 2015, spending for AI was $300-350 million. Its projection for 2025: $30 billion. This is quite a large sum of money, and demonstrates the amount of investment the new age media is willing to spend on developing a ‘collaboration’ between the machine mind and the human mind.
5. Big Data-
Advertising is now becoming dependent on numericals and small pieces of information that create a larger picture. No longer are you an individual, you are data. Your likes, dislikes, content consumed, content shared, money spent and people interacted with is all being monitored to serve up a boutique platter of ads and suggestion that would be relevant to you.
6. Social Media-
There has never been a time in the history of man when each person can have a two-way conversation with whoever they like, quite publically. This has given rise to many micro-revolutions. Firstly, there is full accountability now. If someone is unhappy with your goods or services, they can publically claim so and warn others of the same. Secondly, even the smallest voice has a chance to be heard, and pick up momentum if the masses find it reasonable. Media has shifted from a one-way distribution of information to a two-way conversation between entities. Is has become social, and thus giving rise to digital communities that are not based on anything except the love for something shared.
7. Cord Cutting-
We no longer depend on the cord for information. It isn’t required to be connected to a cable and absorb media we have no interest in while waiting for that 1 show. We can simply find our content online, wherever we go. It has created a whole new space for smaller collectives, or even individuals to become the source of information. Youtube, Netflix, Amazon have transformed the entertainment sector of media. People have vast libraries of selection, to be consumed when and how they like. The back end aspect of it is also much more intelligent since it learns from what you enjoy, and serves you more of it, keeping you engaged and entertained for a longer period of time.
“We should no longer be talking about ‘digital marketing’ but marketing in a digital world.”
Keith Weed | Unilever, 2015