Sunday, October 26, 2008

New Marketing Communications Opens a New Toolbox!

It seems as though marketing communications has taken a digital turn over the past two decades. With the growing popularity and use of the internet and World Wide Web, it seems these are the places consumers go first to receive their first bit of information about a brand’s produce or service. I know I do.

In an article from the Harvard Business Review, author John Deighton pointed out that the term interactive points to two features of communication – the ability to address an individual and the ability to gather and remember the response of that individual. With these two features a third comes into play as the ability to address the individual that takes into account his or her own unique response. (J. Deighton, 2000).

In a recent discussion in IMC 619, we were posed the question of what we thought was the most effective type of new media. Websites was the mentioned the most as the most effective form of the new media. Some of the students claimed it was because that is where we now go to learn more. It’s quick, immediate (well, for the most part) and we can learn more about it than just an ad in a magazine, newspaper or television ad. It’s there at our convenience whenever we want it. And I agree! When purchasing a home theater system, my husband and I did our research. With the different websites, we were able to look at options we wanted with the price we could afford.

Secondly, websites are the foundations for other types of marketing communication tools – podcasts, RSS feeds, etc. We must have websites to make these others work.
That same Harvard Business Review article noted that there is a reasonable chance that interactive media, which includes websites, can transform the way we build brand awareness and communicate to the consumers (J. Deighton, 2000). What I find amazing about this is that this was written 12 years ago. What foresight!

Word of mouth advertising has taken on a new sound, if you will. Social networking sits such as Facebook, MySpace, Friendster, etc. have grown over the past few years. In a recent study by Neilson/NetRating, it was revealed that sites such as these experienced a 47 percent increase in traffic in 2005-2006. MySpace alone noticed a 367 percent increase in the number of visitors (Marketing Leadership Council, January 2008).

The Marketing Leadership Council noted that advertising on social networking sites is expected to increase from $900 million to $2.5 billion from 2007 to 2011. This is all going on while we make new friends and keep up with our old friends.

While I selected blogging as a least effective form of new marketing communication tools, there were a few who disagreed with me and presented valid arguments – afterall, that’s what these discussions are supposed to do – present other and new ideas. Blogs provide more personal insight into a product or service, and provide a new level in customer relations. While blogs are still considered new, they seem to be a new form of communication that is taking off. Through this discussion, I learned more about blogging and can now look at it differently.

Deighton, J. (2000) The Future of Interactive Marketing. Harvard Business Review. P. 151-152.

Marketing Leadership Council (2008). Leveraging Social Networking Sites in Marketing Communications. Retrieved on October 25, 2008, from

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