The changing media environment
The process of communicating in marketing is far more challenging in today’s environment due to the complexity of media choices and the interaction between consumers and the resultant effect on consumer shopping behavior. In the “old days”, a firm’s promotional mix was almost exclusively made up of its sales function and advertising (typically newspaper and TV advertising as discussed below.)
However, in recent years, the changing media environment has made it necessary for firms and brands to look beyond its traditional promotional mix elements.
The power of TV and newspaper advertising
If we go back into the 1960s and 1970s, a brand could be effectively built using the very powerful mediums of television advertising and newspaper advertising. These mediums had an enormous reach – that is, they reached a high proportion of the population – and were very cost effective as a result.
In a relatively short period, a strongly supported brand with lots of advertising would quickly build brand awareness, established a clear market positioning and generate initial sales (what we call product trials).
The changing media landscape
As we go forward into today’s media environment, we find that there are far more media choices and communication tools available to the marketer. There has been a shift of shopping information, has gathered by consumer, away from a reliance on one-way advertising to sometimes extensive online research. To facilitate the ease of this research, consumers have access to comparison sites, forums and message boards, an array of social media sites.
In addition, consumers can also add content on these various sites and put forward their own views and experiences in regards to brands. Therefore, while the impact of an opinion leader has always been recognized, the level of impact has been substantially amplified through online connections.