How is your organization dealing with the significant pivots in media consumption? Pivot points in media should be on every marketer’s radar due to the rapid pace and impact of consumers’ adoption of new technology.
Understanding and anticipating media pivot points are critical to a company’s survival, and is key to developing a plan that maximizes investments, engages consumers, and provides you with a competitive advantage. Some major brands that missed the point recently are Nokia, Borders, Dell, Circuit City, J.C Penny, and Zynga. Enough said.
At 26 Dot Two, we call this “Consumer Planning.” Unilever uses a military term called, “Scenario Planning.” Whatever name you use, it means always anticipating and analyzing the evolution of media. It’s crucial to understand the impact of consumer adoption, in order to get an early start on mastering the new possibilities.
Missing an upcoming media pivot point means entirely missing out on the experience, along with the learning gained from these emerging strategies and tactics. This prevents your company from becoming a leader in the evolving consumer landscape.
What Media Pivots Exist Today?
60% of new cars leaving showrooms today are wired with Wi-Fi, and this is not taking into account cars where technology is tethered. The average lifecycle of a car is 6 to 11 years, meaning there is an upcoming pivot for both terrestrial radio and, ironically, satellite radio. The latter at one point was a potential game changer, but now with the opportunity of consumer selection and customization through digital audio, there is no longer a solid future for satellite.
Terrestrial radio is clearly in the defensive position, as you can see and hear from industry spin. Consumers will continue the migration to digital audio, where there are more options, consumer customization, and a far less cluttered advertising environment. Commercial stop sets are now upwards of 9 units, and while it’s argued that people will sit through this, no rational marketer actually believes this. Although Pandora just announced they would be increasing their commercial load, and in some cases playing more than one commercial per break, consumers can still opt out of ads all together.
“Consumer time spent” with media is one of the early predictors of a pivot. Time spent on Pandora in a single day now matches terrestrial radio listeners’ time spent in an entire week. While Clear Channel is investing in and heavily promoting the “I Heart Radio” app, it is still to be seen whether this will grab a significant place in the consumers’ media dashboard.
In-car media will continue to mature, grabbing more marketing dollars. Looming in-car technology will let marketers layer in precise targeting messaging based on location, as well as identify “who” is in the car; this will become an extremely valuable part of the marketing mix.
Another crucial marketing pivot could be Facebook’s consumer migration to mobile, paired with Facebook’s attempt to both monetize the newsfeed and open up a larger social graph. Do you really care that your friend just listened to Pink on Spotify…? No? Didn’t think so. This could be the pivot that ultimately reduces time spent, spurring users migrating to other apps or platforms, such as Instagram (recently bought by Facebook,) Pinterest, and Tumblr.
The increasing complexity of the media landscape, coupled with consumers’ rapid adoption of new technology, is creating exciting opportunities for those focused on the science of how media is being consumed and engaged with. Understanding and anticipating these media pivot points is a key piece of the puzzle. It’s time to stop reacting, and start consumer planning.