Brand perception has seen a sea change over the past few years as the world has gradually moved from physical to digital. Experiences have become more virtual than tangible; hence, organizations are now striving to showcase their brands to customers through new media more than traditional media.
The transition is backed by the increased engagement levels between brands and customers, leading every business to provide customers with an immersive experience online.
Defining a brand is the recall value that a customer or prospective buyer has about the product or service. For example, when anyone utters the name Amul, one may recall the butter as it dominates the dairy market and the category.
Organizations had to take the traditional media route to form and sustain a brand’s perception. These initiatives included heavy advertising, often through billboards, TV, radio, newspapers, magazines, etc. They were not a one-time investment, but brands had to churn out exciting content repeatedly to get a fair share of the market for themselves. It was cumbersome and incurred heavy costs.
A CONNECTED WORLD
The advent of the Internet transformed the globe – it became connected as one big market, bringing people and cultures closer than ever. It became the building block for organizations to envision ways to reach customers and establish sustainable brand value in modern times. Seeing the canvas to customize and build on the Internet, businesses started exploring ways to promote themselves digitally.
This revolution paved the way for the popularization of new media, which is becoming the primary go-to channel for businesses. So, what does the new-age media precisely offer? Digital channels that help businesses and customers to come together through the Internet - search engine, social media, content, influencer, application-based, email, WhatsApp and many other marketing practices are something that most businesses are exploring in the new-age media era.
There is a slew of advantages for organizations to consider their brand’s presence on new media. First and foremost, most of the global population has smartphones and reaching customers couldn’t have gotten any easier.
From e-mails to apps, social media networking sites, to e-newspapers, an average person, irrespective of their location, relies heavily on the device for consuming content in real-time. Whether through mobile app marketing promotions or e-mails, organizations now have an array of channels they can consider to reach their customers.
Hence, organizations now have an abundance of virtual channels to reach their target audience strategically.
When it comes to cost-effectiveness, traditional media has been known for charging a hefty price to help brands to showcase their advertisements. On the other hand, new media has been known to be cost-effective.
It is much simpler and measurable for a brand to see how many people clicked on the ad/clickable link and how many stayed on the clicked landing page for quite some time. This information, however, was not available in terms of traditional media.
GOLDMINE OF DATA
Data has become the goldmine for businesses to understand prospective customers’ pulse and provide them with contemporary products/services that meet their needs. By providing data, new media provides the visitor's data like name, e-mail address and preferences for products/services when a visitor subscribes to free e-newsletters, e-books, reports, etc.
This essential data can then be collated to form a repository from which the targeted audience can be reached in a structured way. This funnel approach was certainly not seen in the case of traditional media. By and large, the response remained unorganized, with no facility to measure the marketing campaign's effectiveness.
New media allows two-way communication between firms and their customers. For example, a company sells its products through an online marketplace to its customers. If the consumer is dissatisfied with the product, he or she can return the product, seeking a refund, and also write about how the company can improvise on its offerings by commenting on their feedback in the review section of the product listing.
This makes the communication more transparent. Traditional media, on the contrary, essentially followed the one-way communication model. Customization in real-time is key for any business to adapt to customer trends and pick a pace immediately.
In traditional media, tracking the customer trends was impossible as the model didn’t transmit feedback from the consumers to the brands. Hence the one-way communication often heightened the disconnect between brands and customer trends.
TAKING TO THE WEB
Interestingly, B2B marketers are likely to focus on promoting their brands through web and blogging channels because buyers often rely on websites before making purchase decisions. That makes a website a great way to convey information to people involved in B2B sales.
Having mentioned the many advantages of new media, businesses are increasingly considering this communication channel as it has led to the democratization of commerce globally, creating a win-win situation for all stakeholders.
(Divya Batra is Marketing Head, Haldiram Snacks Private Limited)