Moving Towards Convergence Convergence Trends Media Essay
|✅ Paper Type: Free Essay||✅ Subject: Media|
|✅ Wordcount: 3140 words||✅ Published: 1st Jan 2015|
“The era of Gutenberg is virtually over. A brand new digital communications technology has emerged. An electronic superhighway is beginning to girdle the globe as voice, video and data converge, bringing in their wake a new basket of digital, multimedia and interactive communication technologies.
But it is not just the technologies that concern us. It is the social change that accompanies the technologies that must be our prime concern. The new technologies are doing much more. They are changing the way we live-the way we work, relax, manage our money, trade and communicate with each other. The new technologies are changing the way we perceive people, cultures, countries and companies and our expectations of them and also our expectations of ourselves.
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With blurring of geographical boundaries, thanks to the distance insensitive Internet, majority of business and individual are becoming part of a high-speed networking fabric which will enable secure digital communication of voice, data, and video to or from anyone, any where and anytime. Till recently, it wold have sounded like a chapter straight out of science fiction fortunately, the technology now exists to deliver it. Customers now want to pick and chose from narrowcast and broadcast. They want a fusion of voice, data, and video in all possible mixes. In other words, this means the availability of multiple technology choices to fulfill the customer’s desire for anytime access to people, information, and commerce.
But convergence does not necessarily sound the death knell of age-old-technologies. In fact, it leaves enough room for many technologies to co-exist and one will not replace the other outright. This is because no one technology can meet all the requirements of the market-place. Hence, each technology will find its niche and redefine new and old classes of service and user terminals. In this context one can safely assume that there will be a rash of new user terminals that will let us communicate in ways we dream.
Convergence is the key today. We can think about convergence in several different ways. One is in terms of the actual industries converging, such as communication, entertainment, and computing. Another is converging voice, video, and data over a common infrastructure or within a common computing platform. One important factor during convergence is the transformation of the desktop computer through faster processors supporting advanced graphics and multimedia capabilities. The PC today is a collaborative communication and media tool . Another factor driving convergence is the cost of maintaining three separate networks for voice, video, and data. Corporations can realize substantial saving in equipment, staff, and services by using converged networks. Enterprises are looking at cost savings in the WAN as the first leverage point for convergence. Using Voice-over-Frame Relay, VOIP and Voice-over-ATM the same WAN lines can be used for voice as well as data, resulting in substantial cost savings. Next, enterprises want to install the LAN and WAN infrastructure to do real-time video and audio information delivery. For education, a professor’s lecture can be delivered to remote campuses live or as stored video-on-demand files on a web sites, Converged networks can also be used to deliver corporate communications, presentations, and training to employees directly at their desktop.”
2. Points to ponder
There is emerging evidence of the immediate benefits of convergence strategies, if investments are made strategically, but these short term gains are not the only opportunity. Our focus is to look at opportunity both short and long term, created by the emergence of hybrid media and how companies can capitalize on these opportunities. Now to look at the opportunities it creates for the future.
Potential to increase revenue
> Reaches both cyber and traditional segments
> Achieved synergies between online and offline business to promote sales
> Increase access to businesses anytime and anywhere
> Premium services such as customization, home delivery and choice tools increase the stickiness and allow companies to charge a premium price
Potential to reduce costs
> Build on a common inventory, information and logistics base
> Reduce cost of contacting customers and other interaction costs
> Virtual communities can help reduce the company supplied information and support
> Involves customers as co-producers, reduces R&D and marketing costs
> Allows the company to reserve future options
> Creates opportunities to move into segments or strategies online and offline as the technology and consumers continue to evolve
What is Converging?
Convergence, as we are referring here, means more than fusion of technologies (television, computers, wireless etc). The focus area is more of a basic convergence within a consumer- the new possibilities created by technologies and the past consumption patterns of the consumer which was restricted to traditional media consumption. The convergence will shape how the internet and other technologies unfold, and the opportunities created for companies. These are some of the questions which need to be dealt in detail.
To understand and analyze the impact of media convergence , I have done a detailed case study analysis of two classic modern day examples of media convergence strategies. The case not only helps understand the practical application of media tools but also gives a measurable index in terms of its success.
1. XBOX Launch Strategy
To bring the XBOX console to India by introducing the category in an organized manner. To reach out to a fairly affluent, gizmo friendly and upwardly mobile audience.
The launch of X BOX provides an illustrative case study for convergence and optimum use of various advertising mediums.
The launch was divided into two phases – First phase to focus on generating a pre launch buzz and demand through interactive medium, while the Second phase saw the launch campaign of the console focusing on brand building advertising and viral Marketing.
The first phase saw the use of primarily two interactive mediums – Internet and Mobile (SMS+WAP). It focused on generating demand for a category and brand which was getting introduced in India for the first time. Since the objective was to reach out to a fairly affluent, gizmo friendly and upwardly mobile audience a combination of Internet and Mobile media was chosen to execute the campaign. Viral marketing was weaved at every step of the campaign to maximize the media reach both on internet and mobile platforms. Campaign was seamlessly integrated on web, mobile and on ground to synchronize the lead generation activity from across all the media platforms.
The internet campaign launch synchronized the outbreak of homepage banners on all the major portals in India like Rediff.com, MSN.co.in, Yahoo.co.in, Sify.com, Indiatimes.com etc. All the mass portals combined together provided reach to 80% of the Indian audience logging on to the internet on a particular day.
The impact of through size and visibility of the homepage properties across the main portals made the X Box campaign an instant hit and a talking point in media circles. The response on the first day itself was very promising with almost 20,000 users visiting the website.
SMS: A short code campaign was activated through all “consumer-facing” on ground collaterals. Users could know more about XBOX by SMSing XBOX to 8243. A similar viral marketing campaign was conducted on Mobile where users could win wireless keyboard and mouse by forwarding the SMS with the XBOX offer to their friends. More than 2,000 unique users referred the promo SMS to around 4400 unique users. In all, the SMS engine saw 24,000 Hits with 16,000 Unique Users asking for the promo details.
WAP: WAP Platform was chosen to be used for the first time in any of Microsoft campaigns for X BOX since the audience browsing WAP sites fitted in perfectly with Xbox’s target audience.
The WAP Site powered by Yahoo was promoted on Yahoo and Airtel WAP Sites. The WAP page got close to 120,000 hits with 20,000 Unique Users visiting the page during the two month campaign.
The second phase clearly chalked out the objective of introducing the product to the audience through brand building media properties and maximizing interactions. The launch phase saw a multi media campaign across radio, TV, OOH and Internet. The TVC was really clutter breaking and had a viral appeal and the same was used as a video banner with astounding results.
TVC and Video Banners did exceptionally well for the campaign. Almost every impression resulted in some interaction from the user making the video ad i.e. the TVC reach to almost 700,000 unique users seeing it twice.
The combined effect of radio, TV, OOH , mobile and Internet made X box launch , one of the most successful launch for Microsoft and provided the perfect example of the convergence of traditional and modern mediums of advertising and its implication , thereof. This helped in generating a lot of traffic to the microsite with 10 million impressions on the same. Also the number of interactions and queries were close to 150,000. Also this overall campaign helped in reducing the cost per interaction to USD 0.33 per interaction.
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Since the TG was affluent, gizmo freak and upwardly mobile population the use of digital media and mobile in combination with the older mediums like TV, Print, Out of Home worked wonders for the campaign. The interactivity levels went up so much that almost every impression resulted in either a comment or a query. There were as much as 700,000 impressions on the TVC for the campaign.
This case study beautifully illustrates how both mobile and internet were interchangeably used and worked wonders for the brand.
2. Barrack Obama Presidential Election Campaign
Increase interactivity with all the sections of the society and of different age groups. Also to increase word of mouth advocacy for Brand Obama
The Barack Obama Marketing campaign is the best example of how convergence of the media was used to promote him as the America’s next president. Multichannel marketing is best recommended but one cannot force people to use new mediums, masses need to be talked to with mediums you want them to use otherwise they won’t notice you. They need to communicated in a way which is non intrusive but interesting and engaging at the same time.
The Obama campaign had a widespread reach and was impossible to ignore. They used traditional media such as radio, television and direct mail and they used them effectively as they knew their target audience and delivered crisp messages to them. Traditional media was the best way to target baby boomers and older Americans.
It was a strong campaign which covered the maximum reach in that for an entire half an hour blocked half an hour across channels for his own commercial in waning hours of the campaign. The Obama campaign could practically print money, this is one of the main reasons how the multichannel marketing campaign was possible. Obama for his campaign even bought a satellite channel for 24 hours Obama TV.
The online campaign launched for promotion of Obama as a presidential candidate is an excellent example how internet as a medium was used mobilize audience and interact with party and candidate. The campaign’s website was not normal brochure ware but an interactive tool where supporters could log in, find supporters in each area; help the campaign identify prospective voters and support volunteers for the campaign. These people could also help in canvassing and word of mouth publicity. The site also had functions and tools which could be used to enable supporters to successfully advocate for Obama online. The site had been designed to encourage contribution and donations at every click.
EDMs and mailers were extensively used for promotion of agenda. Though these were agenda based the mailers were very informal and interactive. Each covered a single topic every time. They were short and to the point and were frequent enough for top of mind recall, and mostly included a link to a video with candidate talking directly to the subscriber.
They also used Youtube, world largest video content website for its video infrastructure. They set up a YouTube channel through which they communicated with YouTube users. But because YouTube videos can be pasted anywhere, they used their YouTube videos on their Web site, in their blog, on Facebook, and anywhere else they needed video. For this they had a specialized team who took care of videos suited to the requirements of the Youtube campaign. The uploaded videos were primarily made for being uploaded on Youtube and were not just TV commercials.
Not only did they have their Facebook, MySpace and Twitter, the Obama campaign established a social networking presence at ethnic social networks like Black Planet, MiGente and AsianAve as well as Eons, Faithbase and Glee.
The Obama campaign used the text messaging brilliantly. They also had a mobile website which was used to generate database and interact with people through mobile and use it as a viral instrument. The iphone users among their supporters could download an Obama application that encouraged people organize and spread the word.
The campaign not only was present on Search Engine Ads but also had a presence on online display banners. There was hardly any campaign related to politics online without Obama banners running on it. Through the database generated online and on the mobile content page, the campaign administrators used them to create Obama loyalists and supporters.
For the youth community the campaign was also present on a highly targeted channel like gaming with display ads on gaming sites.
Video game ads are a perfect example of getting the message before an audience’s preferred medium. Adult Millennial men and young Gen X men are heavy gamers and, as a result, are hard to reach. Video game ads were the perfect medium to reach these voters.
Social Media Marketing
Barack Obama and his team actively used social media to connect with supporters and potential voters from every part of the country. On MySpace alone, Obama had over 350,000 friends, Facebook shows over 270,000, and YouTube shows over 24,000 in subscribers.
The Obama site promotes its own group and event system with the my.barackobama.com section (you can set up your own group, blog, etc.) Barack’s also integrated Flickr & Videos into his website as well. They actively used Flickr to upload pictures of the campaign rallies, speeches and appearances. Not only had it helped in engaging people who were there in the event but also the pictures also provided the users to blog about the campaign and get a dialogue going on. Finally, and not insignificantly, the photos engaged the Flickr community itself, which is filled with very passionate photographers, amatuer and professional alike.
About a million people signed up for Obama’s text messaging program showing the amount of involvement of the people in the campaign. More than a 0.25 million text messages were exchanged by people to join the program showing word of mouth advocacy. The same was noticed for online and other mediums together.
Obama was able to engage all the classes of audience through all the mediums together. People started blogging and discussing the political agendas and promoting the same. Brand loyalty built by engaging the users. The number of people who joined communities on facebook (5,969,069), myspace(13,50,000) and youtube(1,67,000 subscribers) shows the amount of support the campaign was able to generate amongst the users.
Positive word of mouth publicity generated as the campaign was able to engage audience to do it for them rather than the brand publicizing themselves. Hence showing that the audience is more affected by peer pressure than anything else. New Media convergence and tools offered by the same gives freedom to the user which helps in generating honest feedback mechanism and engage audience with the brand more.
The seed of effective convergence has to be nourished well today, so that the world and India as a nation reap its benefits in the future. Convergence as a tool should be regulated, governed and practiced in the right spirit to make it a part of the fabric of the nation.
This convergence of technologies brings numerous benefits to consumers: Convenience, Random access, On-demand availability. It also facilitates the option of aggregation and collaboration of Information and giving an option of distributing and sharing of the same. Marketers today should look at chalking out strategies that are independent of a medium, instead take into account the several mediums that are at a user’s disposal each carefully tied in with a common message to give it a 360 degree exposure.
The increasingly competitive environment in the multimedia industry promises tremendous user benefits through increased savings in time, greater choice, and an explosion of innovative services and products. This is the promise, to date, truly interactive services allowing the viewer to descend through a series of levels of information are still at the experimental stage. The development of multimedia services will not replace judgment value that is provided by the traditional media. Hence, the traditional media will still have a large role to play in the new multimedia world.
Multimedia has the potential to vastly increase the range of services available, and offer its users a larger choice of applications but new technology alone will not ensure success; it is the people who use it who will decide the future of multimedia. The users’ wants and needs; how they will manage the flood of options; and, above all, whether or not they will pay for the freedom of choice are what counts.
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