It should come as no surprise that traditional Medias need to innovate their practices and embrace the digital sphere. This message was highlighted several times during the conference.
In order to assist marketers and advertisers in the how-to, I’ve created an overview of the more tangible themes that emerged from RDV Media. They include: connecting online, thinking local, content consumption, new revenue for traditional media and advertisers: looking for more than eyeballs.
Javier San Juan of l’Oréal spoke about his company’s online shift from talking about their products to creating presences dealing with issues that matter to consumers and giving them a place to discuss and exchange about them.
Arianna Huffington of Huffington Post partially attributed Huffington Post’s success as a blogging platform to the telling of stories that engaged audiences. This engagement became obvious through the high amount of comments for each blog post and the discussions that formed between users as a result.
The big takeaway here is that we mustn’t forget that online audiences are people and people (for the most part) just want to feel connected to others in the world, online or off.
Digital Medias that don’t favour and encourage discussions will be a thing of the past, according to Arianna.
Jeffrey Graham of Initiative gave marketers a lot to consider. He spoke about consumers’ purchase decisions and how they vary by industry and by country.
For example, shampoo consumers in Spain make purchase decisions based on word-of-mouth. In the US, consumers seem to be more influenced by packaging. These results are not the same when you compare different industries and markets.
His big point: market research is needed. Marketers need to find out what influences their local consumers in their industry and use that information to their advantage.
Arianna Huffington put this notion of “Local” in practice with the creation of Patch.com, a community-specific news and information platform dedicated to providing local coverage for 850 individual towns and communities in the US with a population of 40-50 people that are generally underserved with local news.
Arianna’s main vision for her endeavours is to build online communities by creating conversations which can only happen when audiences can identify with the stories being told.
Audiences are consuming content in more ways than ever: in print, on a computer, tablet, smartphone, etc. These new consumption habits are creating increasing consumer expectations of the Medias.
Audiences want a seamless user experience across all of the brand’s platforms. Medias should be strategic in their choice of content for each platform, as audiences want to consume content that is tailored to the individual platforms they are being consumed on.
For example, the same user will not want the same in-depth content they enjoy online, on their smartphones.
As revenue for traditional Medias continues to decline, these organizations need to shift strategies towards expanding their sources of income. They will require the audacity to change their business models in order to survive. This process begins with looking at their strengths and building from there.
According to panellists, performance-based media buying will become the norm. Advertisers are losing interest in a ROI for their campaigns that is based on views, which is the case when advertising through traditional media channels and online banners (calculated by CPM). Competitive traditional Medias should begin to consider this reality.