Digital media the way forward for Kiwi businesses
Digital marketing is becoming the most influential and representative manner in which to engage an audience and this is down to social networking, delegates were told at the Digital Now New Zealand 2009 conference in Auckland today.
Google innovationist Justin Baird said businesses need to embrace digital media, as “it is here to stay.”
“Researching consumers is no longer about broadcasting your messages and then moving onto the next thing – it’s now an ongoing dialogue, which in turn is an amazing opportunity to learn from your customers via very direct feedback,” Mr Baird said.
Mr Baird discussed the influence social media is having over marketing and branding campaigns and how every major brand from McDonald’s to Cadbury is using various mediums such as YouTube and Facebook to promote and engage with worldwide audiences.
He added: “The beauty of digital media is that it produces genuine metrics that drill deeper than traditional media and allow business with a correct strategic approach to target consumers and businesses far better with quantifiable results.”
Of the 90% of New Zealanders who participate in digital media, around 87% use Facebook whereas only 10% use Twitter. But despite this Twitter is being used as a business tool and seems to have excited an older audience in contrast to Bebo and MySpace.
TNS Research Strategy Director Jonathan Sinton said it was a mistake for businesses to assume all customers and participants in social media thought and responded to the same material.
Mr Sinton said New Zealand and Australian consumers differed in their buying habits from each other, and men and women especially differ in their consumer behaviour both within New Zealand and compared with Australia.
“We have different underlaying needs to other markets – campaigns need to fit the motivations of local consumers.”
Mr Sinton said New Zealanders generally enjoy reading blogs and viewing personal profiles such as on Facebook but only 14% of participating Kiwis actually blog themselves.
The social media movement is giving consumers more power and more input into brands. Restaurant reviews have become popular as it gives a fresh approach to service and food without an advertising agenda.
Mr Sinton added: “The more people who contribute the more power reviews and contributions have to change services and products. Particularly for services which are peculiarly local like telecoms, banks and entertainment venues.”
But he said the key to maintaining a successful site and participation is how “sticky” it is, how useful it continues to be or how interactive it allows is users to be.
Mr Sinton said Facebook currently had the largest photo-sharing forum on the internet, which continually draws people back to it. This becomes the glue that congeals a social networking site with its users, which then becomes an excellent medium in which to target specific audiences.
The conference was aimed at giving business and marketing professionals advice on how best to make use of digital and social media.