The term “Soap Opera” was coined because of the advertisements of soap being broadcasted at regular intervals during the screening of popular drama series on television. Such was the power of advertising. Pop culture was influence to a large extent by the advertising campaigns started by different companies. Advertising verily was the backbone of marketing communications in the innocent times of the ass’s and ass’s where you could easily reach large audiences, both locally and nationally.
With the invention of the television, a new medium was created for further proliferation of promotional messages and it created an avenue for a lot Of creativity and competition. As the communication media grew, so did the modes of advertising. Television, Radio, Billboards, and a host of other media eave beaming us enticing messages of myriad offerings and manufacturers are climbing over each other to get a piece of the sale pie. Things continue to be dynamic and changes in times and social culture and technology kept being a constant force in shaping the marketing strategy of any firm.
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And as we stand here, we have seen a shift in consumer preferences and needs. The same consumers from 1 0 years ago have developed a different set of needs, satisfying which is the main objective of the commercial world. Not to forget of course the new generation of consumers who drive the most radical of hanged. The world is increasingly becoming more and more individual oriented and every consumer wants to be treated as the only one.
Companies now need to address the need of making the consumer feel like the products offered are made specially for him and an age of customization has been ushered in. In such a scenario, mass media advertising, targeted at numbers might not be the most successful option always. And of course with the advent of superior technologies and the dominance of Internet and the online life becoming more and more tangible, traditional advertising does take a blow in the head.
A consumer is now termed as “multi screen user”, spending a majority of his waking hours in front of either computer, smart phone or TV screens whether for work or leisure. It is clear that due to growing individualistic culture and superior technologies, traditional advertising, which needs to engage the attention of a jaded population, is fast losing grip. Marketing is all about reaching the people wherever they are and creating awareness about a particular product and promoting a sale.
However with the consumer presence shifting, the mode of marketing needs to be shifted and modified as well. TV advertising has long been given the major part of marketing budgets but with the economic slowdown worldwide and companies slashing their budgets and getting more discerning, ROI (return on investment) has become the phrase of the day. With consumers being bombarded with too many messages on W, the consumers have become choosier and can decide not to watch a particular message.
As such the ROI would not be as desired by the companies, and so, the re-think in strategy starts. Annapolis (2001 ) points out a reason for the diminishing preference for TV advertising. He claims that advertisers are shifting communication budgets way from advertising supported media to other marketing venues such as direct response mail or event sponsoring, as a result of the declining quality of the audience measurement induced by the enlarged inter- and intra-media choice and the declining willingness of respondents to participate in audience panels.
In general, the trend of withdrawing advertising budgets from traditional advertising is not new (Kim, Han, and Schultz 2004). The customization of products has changed marketing from mass marketing to a one on one approach, where direct personalized marketing has become more ND more important (Karaoke, Carson, and Kayak 1997). Besides the growing attention for personalized communication at the expense of mass marketing, TV advertising has other problems; namely increasing ad clutter that makes the effectiveness Of TV commercials doubtful (Lowery, Shrill_Jam, and McCarty forthcoming).
Other traditional advertising such as Radio, Billboard and other modes have also commanded a portion of the marketing budgets. However these modes are marginal in comparison to television, Direct marketing, sponsorships, promotions and the newer online marketing. In Figure 1 . , we see the global marketing budgets by medium from Jan to Gag 2012. It is clear from the above that there is a marked decline in the traditional media of TV, press, radio, and outdoor displays. And a growing increase in digital/ online and mobile promotions are gaining more popularity over the world.
There are plenty of alternatives to straightforward advertising, including a myriad of marketing and communications services, some of which are called “below-the-line” advertising. They range from public relations to direct mail, consumer promotions (such as coupons), in-store displays, business-to- equines promotions (like paying a retailer for shelf-space), telemarketing exhibitions, sponsoring events, product placements and more. (The Economist, 2004) Now two diametrically opposite disciplines of marketing channels emerge. Above the Line and Below the line.
Above the line channels could be described as Measured Media” – TV/Radio/Print Advertising, Outdoor Advertisingњ, Yellow Pages and Below the line as Direct mail, direct response broadcast, direct response print, event, interactive or promotional marketing. Direct marketing is being adopted by various companies to feed the nonusers need of personalized offerings. The Macmillan, maker of the no. 4 single malt Scotch whisky brand worldwide adopted it very successfully. They had a practice of sending calendars called “mainlanders” to their valued customers every year.
But then they employed a direct marketing strategy of sending regular mailers to their database of regular customers and were followed by a marked increase in sales. (Direct marketing news, March 2003 And then there is the Internet, where a modern consumer no matter what his business or pursuit, spends most of his useful time. The internet has brought number of different ways to reach out to the population, in addition to straightforward promotional messages. “There’s lots of ways to skin a cat today,” says Scott Godson, founder of Strawberry’s, an agency based in Amsterdam that specializes in international campaigns.
While his firm still uses traditional media, such as TV and print, it is often in conjunction with other techniques, such as “viral” marketing. This means trying to spread the message by word of mouth-??still considered the most-powerful form of advertising. Sometimes that involves using the Internet for e-mail messages intonating jokes, film clips and games, which recipients are encouraged to pass along to friends. (The Economist, 2004). Fig. 1. 2 It is clear from the above data that new media are taking over marketing communications over the traditional advertising that was the most successful since the ass’s.
Asia however is adopting the changes fairly slowly and steadily. The cultural differences between Asia and the rest of the world cannot be ignored. They are bought by tradition and although they are one of the most proficient developers of new technology and are one of the biggest consumers of the exultant technology, they are still not very eager adopters of the new age marketing media. Many Asian marketers and agencies are in “digital denial” over the effectiveness of earned media generated by social networks and blobs, a study has suggested. (XML Asia, May 2011).
Traditional media advertising still holds an important place in the marketing budgets of the companies working in Asia due to the fact that culturally, Asians tend to hold on to some old practices and TV, Radio and even billboards are very much a part of their lives. Fig 1. 3 Allocation of marketing budgets 2011 6% Advertising Events public Relations Market Research Other Areas 201 1 Fig 1. 4 Allocation of Advertising budgets 2011 Traditional media (Print, T. V, Radio, Out of home) Non-Traditional media (Digital, Online, Email, Mobile, Social media, etc. However this doesn’t mean that Asian homegrown companies do not employ any radical marketing change tactics to rejuvenate the market, compete and boost sales. An example of an Asian company which consistently re- invents itself and employs aggressive marketing tactics against its competitors is the Korean technology company, Samsung. It started off as a lesser-known manufacturer of black and white televisions, Vic’s and, microwaves, selling its products to original equipment manufacturers (Memo’s), which sold them under their own brand name.
They evolved from there to becoming one of the most desired brands as classified by Businesslike. Samsung has been known to have made some major radical changes in their marketing strategies. They sat reed in 2002 with the advertising campaign, “Digital- Everyone’s invited! ” This gave them a recognition and growing acceptance in the consumer market, to which they were relatively new. After the successful launch of its Digital campaign, they took their branding activities to the next level by launching a co marketing campaign with Warner Brothers blockbuster movie, The Matrix reloaded.
The Samsung were featured in the movie that led to them marketing limited editions of Samsung phones in select markets that gave the brand a further edge. In addition to branding activities, Samsung has been consistently sponsoring various sports events including the Olympics, over a number of years. In recent times realizing the traditional advertising and branding activities deed some more leverage to stand up to competition from massive giants like Apple, they took a very radical step.
In April this year, Samsung hired a marketing agency in Australia to send groups of people to protest outside Apple stores, over various locations in Australia, asking them to “Wake up! ” This campaign raised many eyebrows and got wide coverage from television and news agencies. This is an example of the extent to which companies will get imaginative in their marketing stunts in the competitive consumer world of the present. Going forward into aggressive times, peoples’ attention spans are getting hurter and shorter with so much new technology and so many things on their mind.
In conclusion, the way the world is going, traditional advertising will not be dead- it definitely won’t be. There will always be a need for traditional advertising; people still like to curl up with a good magazine, or watch TV with their families. They might move on to digital version, but surely not move away altogether. There is going to be a lot of integration between traditional and new media, and lot of radical ideas, like the one by Samsung discussed above. It’s really hard to predict the future.