The inquisitiveness of mortals has long been responsible for the incessant thirst of news, ranging from serious political and social causes to celebrity parties. The medium of dissemination of news although, has undergone quite a drastic change. Traditional media like newspapers, magazines, TV and radio are making way for social media and networking websites.
The number of people becoming aware of news via social networks and other online sources is increasing by leaps and bounds. The reasons may be manifold, but primarily among them is the ease of access of social media in this internet savvy generation. This doesn’t mean that traditional media is putting a gun to its mouth and pulling the trigger. In fact, news conglomerates and agencies like the Times of India, Hindu, Network 18, etc. are evolving and have created a substantial online presence too. This infographic clearly shows the news consumption habits of people nowadays.
The fourth estate has always been used extensively throughout ages as mouth pieces of revolution. People’s opinions have been molded by blaring speeches on radio and moving articles. The agitation for Lokpal bill is a clear example in recent times how social media triumphed traditional media in terms of awareness of people. Everyone’s Twitter timeline and Facebook wall was inundated with posts about the protest and this was instrumental in the huge support Anna Hazare garnered. Another aspect that comes to light is that unlike traditional media, it is very difficult to regulate and censor online content, as exemplified by Kapil Sibal. But nowadays, this double edged sword can lead you into trouble, as found out the hard way by a professor for circulating the Mamata Banerjee cartoon online.
The youth of today has been charged with not keeping abreast of current affairs. But one survey states that 48% of the American youth find out about current affairs via Facebook. Another interesting tidbit is that around 400 million people between 13 to 25 years of age are using Facebook. This section of people uses their mobile phones to a great extent. Also, this age bracket loves watching videos online. This huge number, coupled with the behavior of this demographic, is a thing to consider for the marketing department of all companies. Then comes the million dollar question – Do we resort to new age social media marketing or continue with traditional marketing? The answer, unfortunately, isn’t a one-fits-all solution.
One of the major flipsides of social media is that rumors and speculations go viral. As there is no regulation and as nowadays, Twitter has become the substitute for word of mouth, it doesn’t take time for an interesting news article to find its place in front of everyone online. Social media has grown to such a huge extent that it has become cluttered with unnecessary articles and shares that have no meaning. But Washington Post Social Reader and others have at least a sense of authenticity and important articles.
For product and services branding, it is in the best interest of a company to not denounce any medium, but use all possible media. There are great ways to mix the two and reap benefits. A good marketing campaign does not depend so much on the medium as it does on the content. The Volkswagen speaking newspaper ad or minimalistic posters are great ways to invigorate interest among the people. Interactive ads are easily made online. Whatever the medium, the main achievement is when an advertising campaign leaves a lasting impression on the minds of the people.
Cross platform advertising has gained a lot of momentum and companies are reaping benefits out of it. Satyamev Jayate made use of both traditional and digital media to become the talking point in every sphere. The way forward for everyone is to take the middle road and embrace both traditional and online media.
What do you have to say about the strong points and failures of these media? What do you feel is the future of media? Do let us know.