While many entities may not agree on a single definition of emerging media, what is agreed upon is its importance in marketing. I am a bit fuzzy with the definition myself and interpret it to mean existing and forthcoming digital social platforms.
Emerging media has created unprecedented accessibility and an “always on” mindset. It’s redefined what it means to discover and explore. It’s blurred or erased the communication lines between business and consumer, “real life” and “digital life,” and is permeating everything we do. Our tech tools are extensions of us, ways in which we express who we are. This increasing shift towards all things digital means marketing plans that do not address emerging media are grossly incomplete. Below are three reasons why emerging media matters in today’s marketing environment.
1. It’s where the people are.
According to the Pew Research Internet Project, as of January 2014, 74% of all internet users are on social networking sites. In the 18-29 age category, it’s an astonishing 89%, and in the 30-49 age category, it’s 82%. This means people are online creating and curating content, and is an opportunity for marketers to reach more of their audience.
2. It’s data-rich.
Social media has made way for such rich, useful data for insights into consumer’s lives. People willingly share information about location, likes and interests, experiences, friends (potential new customers), and a slew of other things. Of course, the issue with all this data is accessibility and interpretation, but it’s available nonetheless.
3. It’s interactive.
This is the most important aspect of emerging media and what differentiates it from traditional media. Social media has made marketing a two-way street for businesses, as consumers are more in control of the brand’s image and brands are more accessible to its consumers. Being able to directly communicate with your customers creates a personal tie to your consumers. Personal ties = relationships = more business for the brand. This article on Forbes talks more about humanizing brands by being interactive with consumers online. Check it out!
Emerging Media is constantly creating new opportunities for people and companies to engage, create, and influence each other. What other ways do you think emerging media matters?