Wednesday, 23 June 2010

The maturing of digital media

Marketing Week discusses the maturing of digital media this week, calling for more experimentation to better exploit the creativity and targeting possibilities. A fully-mature medium should have extensive and detailed audience analyses available to advertisers, which is not yet the case in the digital world (in my opinion).

To deal with this challenge, specialist firms are looking at ways to measure specific aspects of the digital media audience, such as the media consumption of smartphone users (downloading or viewing videos via mobile, for example). With so many consumers dependent on mobiles for entertainment and information access, companies must understand this audience's habits and preferences if they are to be effective in mobile marketing. To give advertisers confidence in digital media, vendors are launching programmes to ensure the high quality and validity of the audience data they provide.

Clearly, digital media will be a major advertising force in the near future. According to one recent study, the audience for online media is increasing even as the audience for traditional printed magazines is stagnating or moving downward. In the long run, digital media will provide advertisers with better and more targeted opportunities for engaging target audiences in two-way conversations about brands, features and benefits, pricing and so on.

While the maturing process is underway, the biggest advertisers will continue to experiment with digital media until they have reliable facts, figures, and trends to understand digital audiences. Some observers may question the need for measuring audience involvement and reaction to digital media, but it's a must for smart marketers--otherwise, how can they know whether they're achieving their objectives?