When did traditional media die?
We often hear about the growth of digital media and the increased adoption of new media devices. With the content that digital media receives, it is easy to think that traditional media is becoming obsolete, especially among younger adults. It is true that TV, radio, magazines and newspapers are not the dominant media that they once were. But they are not dead. They still play a significant role in consumers’ lives and are still a strong decision making leverage for B2B sector.
According to the latest report published by Hotwire PR on media consumption trends “The Changing Face of Influence” reveals that 87% of business decision makers cite traditional media as being as important as social media in the purchasing decision making process – and in particular stress its value when starting to shortlist and negotiate with individual vendors.
What this means is vendors should continue to seek earned media coverage – 71% of the decision makers Hotwire surveyed highly value earned coverage about vendors they are considering. There’s a distinct contrast here between marketing and IT decision makers. IT decision makers focus on publications with heritage which have a track record in the IT sector – Computer News Middle East, Channel Middle East, ITP.net etc.
Marketing decision makers are more likely to engage with newer outlets which have a digital only focus. It’s not enough just to have news stories about new hires, product updates or company focused pieces. If earned coverage is to generate cut through and stand out, it’s vital it’s supported by third party testimony.
In particular, industry analysts continue to carry considerable weight as a trustworthy source of opinion – over 60% of decision makers look to them as a primary source of information. Being featured in analyst reports will continue to be important, as will involving analysts in events and briefings.
This is remarkably consistent with the ways these decision makers are using their social channels. Find out as much information as possible to begin with and then narrow down your thinking by consulting reliable, impartial sources of information.
This might take the form of client case studies, independent analyst reports or relevant, credible third party data. What matters is that decision makers get that external perspective.
It all sounds great, but it is important that vendors get all their owned marketing in order before they dive into the world of earned and paid media. Focusing on earned or paid without getting your owned presence right is like designing a beautiful shopfront for a store with empty shelves – you’ll attract attention, but fail to make sales.
Getting there is simple – audit the content you have, identify what works and where the gaps are.
Then, build a content calendar around your strengths and identify where new content can be found to fill the holes.