Business Leaders Recognize Growing Power of New Media
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Business Leaders Recognize Growing Power of New Media

Reaching key audiences through customized and personalized means is increasingly critical in the “creativity economy” according to a just-released survey by global public relations firm Weber Shandwick and KRC Research.

Paul Holmes

Reaching key audiences through customized and personalized means is increasingly critical in the “creativity economy” according to a just-released survey by global public relations firm Weber Shandwick and KRC Research.

The new survey, The Changing Face of Marketing and Communications in Today’s Creativity Economy, examines the way the innovation-based economy that is changing the way the world does business.  Nearly half (49 percent) of senior executives surveyed recognize that reaching audiences only through traditional mass media is no longer effective and say they are actively developing ways to reach consumers through more customized means.

And an overwhelming 76 percent of senior executives say they are already experimenting with “alternative” media defined as any advertising or marketing besides television, radio and print media.

“Companies are just beginning to realize how many new marketing channels are emerging as a direct result of the Creativity Economy,” says Jennifer Risi, executive vice president in the global strategic media group at Weber Shandwick. “Recognizing and seizing these opportunities will mean the difference between success and failure in this new age of communications.”

After leading non-traditional marketing strategies such as Web sites, customized events, community outreach and direct mail, companies are turning to social networking as a way of communicating with customers. Nearly seven out of 10 (69 percent) executives use this strategy today.  Notably, this figure is on par with company use of traditional magazine advertising (68 percent).

The power of niche marketing—a technique first popularized by consumer goods companies—is also taking hold across a wide array of industries. Almost a third (61 percent) of respondents use niche marketing to advertise and market to customers.

According to Risi, the “Creativity Economy” gains traction, companies are realizing that customers are demanding customization and personalization in every facet of their lives—and companies at the forefront of innovation are answering that call in growing numbers. Some of the other non-traditional tactics being employed at higher levels than anticipated include culturally driven marketing (47 percent) and online video (33 percent).

“Reaching consumers in new and innovative ways is the linchpin of the Creativity Economy,” says Billee Howard, executive vice president and managing director in the global strategic media group at Weber Shandwick. “The Creativity Economy has completely redrawn the parameters of the communications landscape. To succeed, companies need to devote considerable time and resources to creating more personal relationships with customers.”

Over the next five years, the leading areas for increased marketing expenditures are websites (66 percent), customized events for demographic targets (54 percent), Internet banner ads (46 percent), niche marketing (43 percent), and local community outreach (40 percent). Social networking and culturally driven marketing are also expected to grow, according to over two-thirds of senior executives surveyed (37 and 36 percent, respectively).

Increased spending is not expected to be as high over the next five years in the areas of network TV ads (13 percent), newspaper ads (13 percent) and outdoor ads (15 percent). Avatar-based marketing received the lowest anticipated increased spending estimate (2 percent), although Weber Shandwick says it expects that percentage to change as more companies learn how to use this new medium effectively.

As traditional media gradually gives way to alternative media, the opportunity to unearth new and innovative methods for reaching key constituencies is greater than at any other time in recent memory.

“We’re in the early days of a totally new media era,” says Howard. “Those companies that do not combine the new media paradigm with the best of traditional media will most certainly do so at their peril.”

 

 

Currently

Use

Will Spend More In Next 5 Years (Rank)

Web site

91 percent

66 percent  (1)

Customized events for specific demographic targets

81

54     (2)

Local community outreach

79

40     (5)

Direct mail

76

32     (8 tie)

Social networking

69

37     (6)

Magazine ads

68

18     (13)

Micro or niche marketing

61

43     (4)

Internet banner ads

56

46     (3)

Newspaper ads

54

13     (17 tie)

Radio ads

48

21    (11)

Culturally driven marketing

47

36     (7)

National event marketing

45

19    (12)

Outdoor advertising

45

15   (16)

Telephone or telemarketing

38

17    (14)

Cable TV ads

37

22    (10)

Online video

33

32    (9 tie)

Product placement

32

16    (15)

Network TV ads

29

13    (18 tie)

Avatar-based marketing

  8

  2    (19)

 

Source: Weber Shandwick/KRC Research, 2006

 

 

 

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