I often find myself thinking about what our ancestors would say if they could see the world today. What would they think about us communicating through text, working behind computers, and connecting with people from around the world with something as simple as clicking the “Add Friend” or “Follow” button? These thoughts usually end with me shaking my head and trying to imagine life before all of the amazing technology and simple ways to connect instantly…it’s pretty hard to imagine life without it. While I can recall a life before Apple products took over my life, I cannot recall a time without computers. It’s very impressive to see how far we have come and the journey should remind us how important emerging media truly is.
Emerging media defines the ways in which we communicate through social, digital and mobile networks. It is different from both traditional media and new media. The defining characteristics are just a few of the major differences.
So, why does emerging media matter? Emerging media is important to both society and marketers because it consists of the most popular and efficient ways to communicate with others (customers/target audiences in particular), find out information and complete tasks. Emerging media is made up of anything from social networks and product reviews to using GPS and following the news. The aforementioned all have one thing in common: they require Internet. The Internet is something that we use daily. As a matter of fact, there are approximately 3,424,971,237 Internet users throughout the world. Emerging media matters because it is used in our day-to-day lives, and the evolution of technology and social trends it is safe to say that it is only going to become an even bigger part of our lives as time moves forward.
My day revolves around media. Though I hate to admit it, the first thing I do in the morning is check Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, SnapChat and my e-mail accounts. Being that I am a social media strategist at the agency that I work at, I then continue to spend the next eight hours on social media. When classes are in session, I typically spend another five to six hours on the Internet until I go to bed to start all over again. This doesn’t count the time I may spend looking up the weather, sending text messages or online shopping. I am sure that I am not alone in spending the entire day using technology and media outlets. A 2015 study found that teenagers spend nine hours each day using forms of media. While this statistic is impressive, I found the “What Happens Online In 60-Second” findings to be even more impressive.
While the emerging media trends have influenced the world in a lot of ways, my favorite is how it impacts brands and products/services through word of mouth (WOM). I think WOM has changed the way brands strive to please customers. Today, if one person is not happy with their experience with a company, product or service they instantly take their experiences to the review pages of websites, and the even more popular social media outlets. I have seen both positive and negative remarks made on social media, and they typically go viral with others either agreeing or disagreeing with what they have read. A 2014 Nielson study showed that 92 percent of consumers believed product/service recommendations from their friends and family members over company advertisements. Additional studies have found that the better the review, the more likely one is to make a purchase, while the worse the review the less likely on is to invest in the product/service. Emerging media is allowing us to connect and share our experiences with others.
A second way emerging media is influencing our world is how marketers are able to take a simple search and make it an advertisement. I cannot tell you how many times I search on Google or a website and find a sponsored advertisement on my Facebook or Twitter news feed moments later. It is truly amazing how technology is allowing marketers to reach their target audience.
Whether we believe it or not, the future is now! The technologies and mediums are only going to improve from here. While we await these up and coming media trends and technologies, I leave you with these fun facts.