Evolution of technology and multimedia has contributed to the rapid changes in the advertisement industry. Every organization around the globe is seeking new media opportunities as an easier and effective way of reaching customers. New media advertisement is enabled by the radical changes registered in the information and communication technologies.
New media advertisers use computer technology and other appliances to reach customers anytime, anywhere, and on diversified digital platforms such as mobile phones and Internet. The decline in effectiveness of radio, TV and print ads has prompted sales personnel’s to devise interactive advertisement methods.
This essay demonstrates the effectiveness of new media advertisement in comparison to the traditional advertisement methods. It will as look at the interactive effect of the new media advert, limitation and the future possibilities in New Media advertisement.
New media advertisement resulted from the internet-based revolution in communication. As people took to internet use, diversified platforms such as Blogs, video blogs, audio newscasts and social networks such as face book and twitter have emerged. Due to emergency of mentioned platforms, majority of people especially the youth spend most of their time in cyber space; the virtual world.
Consequently, to attract such groups of customers, placing advertisements in the cyber space has become the order of the day. Adverts placed on social networks continue to be more effective in igniting discussions among peers (Tuten 52). As Tuten (77) points out, the significance of using virtual worlds such as My Space for reaching out to the youths and the kids increases every day.
The adverts in new media are attractive because they allow interaction with and among the users as opposed to static adverts placed on TV and other traditional media forms. For Tuten (63), the virtual world plays an integral role in developing a unified world i.e. it is a major agent of globalization.
The ability of virtual communities to transcend geographical boundaries expands the scope of market reached by the new media advertisement. Since most organizations have international links or are multinationals, adopting new media advertisements break the regional barrier as well as social barriers to promote a global image of the firm. Hermeking (11) suggests that virtual societies reduce the distance between people and increase transaction between regions that may be geographically far away.
Through new media advertisements, the organizations are able to appeal to a wider market. Therefore, new media opens new frontiers of facilitates faster penetration in the global market.
Tuten (34) argued that by taking to the new media channels, society forced advertisers into considering new media as an advertisement avenue.
Castells (5), on the other hand, holds a contrary opinion as he argues that technology does not establish society, and society does not determine the course of economic change. What drives economic change, according to Castells (5), are factors such as inventiveness, innovation, managerial expertise and technology. Castells (12) praises New Media as the only tool that brings all these factors together in a cohesive and productive way.
In support of his argument, Castells (5) says that, “technology is society and society cannot be understood without technology”. From his words, we deduce that the two are inseparable and one cannot do without the other. In the context of globalization, it could thus be inferred that new media drives globalization, and globalization cannot be understood without understanding new media.
To tap into the potentials or opportunities arising from globalization, one has to understand the possibilities and potentiality of New Media among other technologies. Therefore, by embracing new media, organizations are just meeting the requirements of the society since the societies embrace technological changes and, in response, so do the business firms.
Schibrowski & Schultz (93 – 115) assert that advertisers have to adapt to changing consumer characteristics and use convenient advertisement media. The purpose of advertising is to communicate to consumers. Therefore, advertisers have to be agile enough as to meet consumers in their context. The emergency of digital gargets with manipulative features meant advertisers had to re-examine their advertisement methods ride on the new technical changes.
Schibrowsko and Schultz (114) add that, “The unique characteristics of the new media require that a database-driven segmentation approach to communication strategy be employed”. Marla and Faber (4) view new media as a tool that links between mass media and mediated interpersonal interactions. Their perception of the new media portrays it as the ultimate tool through which advertisers can meet the demands of the changing world in the most successful way.
In order to keep abreast with the changing world, modern organization should readjust to meet the requirements of the way of doing things. The dynamism of the underlying new media advertisement calls for every organization to develop new advertisement mechanism and stage up campaigns to maintain a competitive edge.
During development of an interactive advertisement, it is of paramount importance to evaluate various criteria to ensure that the selected option maximizes profit.
The interactive advert should be designed such that it is able to meet the limitations, which come with the new media advertisement such as global competition and technological changes. Bhuiyan (24) emphasizes that the new media encourages innovation on the part of advertises since adverts are subject to regular changes.
New media’s greatest advantage is interactivity. Interactivity is the interface provided by the advert designer to engage the customers in a manner similar to one-on-one dialogue (Hermeking 7). Through interactivity, the customers get immediate feedback from the advert. However, various media provide different levels of interactivity.
The logic behind development of interactive media is vested on desire to engage customer actively in advertisement process, unlike in TV ads and radio ads where the customer remains passive (Hermeking 9). Interactivity does not only engage the mind but also strives to exercise other senses such as sight, touch and hearing. By engaging other senses, new media promotes retention ability and cultivates the attention of the customer (Hermeking 11).
In addition, the new media has made it possible for people to express themselves in more than way. Hermeking (11) describes interactivity as “a one to one, ‘induation’ and many to many”. His description is based on the ability of the internet to support interaction between an individual and groups of people. Just as in the case of face-face interaction, the new media always ensures total commitment.
Evolution of advertisement has compelled organizations to adopt the new media advertisement. Organizations, which fail to embrace new technology, may be forced to exit from the market because of the stiff competition from competitors using new media ads (Liu and Shrum 63).
In addition, there is no middle ground for modern firms and therefore they should either change or die, firms should simultaneously embrace the new media advertisement as they adopt other new technologies (Hermeking 14). Emergency of new media has rendered the tradition advertisement ineffective. Although the traditional advertisement such as television, radio and print are still in use today, their effectiveness is becoming marginalized by the day (Liu and Shrum 63).
Marshall (64) foresaw the evolution in the advertisement and argued that the traditional advertisement would become technically obsolete. However, he also commented that it would not completely disappear but its impact would increasingly become negligible. With E-marketing in his mind, Marshal (66) envisioned a platform, which would replace the traditional trade channels with an online marketing system.
In his perception, e-commerce would render the traditional advertisement worthless as more and more commodities would be purchase online at the convenience of customers’ home (Marshall 77). Conversely, the traditional media ad designers should create superior adverts designs to withstand the test of times and still maintain its purpose of stimulating sales.
New media is a powerful tool that allows integration of other advertisement methods in one go. For instance, an advert should be designed such that it can be used in different platforms. For instance, the same advert being streamed through internet TV can also be designed into a pop up window. The pop up window may be programmed so that it appears a number of times at regular intervals when one opens a website (Marshall 67).
Additionally, new media advertising allows for inclusion of voice prompts and illustrations. These additional features not only enhance customer attention but also promote customer involvement as he interacts with the advert to identify the unique features (Marshall 67).
On the other hand, ads designers should incorporate all the products in a single advert in order to pave way for the customer to search for the product of interest. The interfaces from one product to the other should be simplified and precise to avoid boring the customer (Marshall 67).
The other quality of the new media advertisement is that it rejects the linear sequential model, which is based on what adverts do to people (Marshall 65). According to Marshall (65), new media adverts embrace the value of both the products and the firm. New media focuses on strengthening the brand name rather that strengthening the product.
With this in mind, modern ads will impact on the customers’ perception of the company (Marshall 66). However, a balance should be maintained between development superior products to match the portrayed image by the adverts. Failure to develop a strong link between the two jeopardizes the effectiveness of strong advertisement.
The new media enable consumers to develop mental pictures from the logical information, which they derive from the advertisement. Faber, Stanford and Marla (41) suggested that, the ability to express the idea clearly enable customers to internalize the idea and even develop an illusion of the same. The clarity at which new media portrays the product influences consumers decision making. Moreover, Faber, Stanford and Marla (44) argue that a consumer translates a commodity description into a picture in their mental eye.
Therefore, the advert should be made in a manner that enables a consumer to develop a mental picture but it is not the role of advert designer to create one. Therefore, the new media, unlike the old tradition, allows each consumer to develop a mental picture of a particular product and not a holistic picture of the company’s product assortment.
Although new media is praised for effectiveness, it also harbors some limitations. Businesses are experiencing stiff competition as a result of new media advertisement; through new media consumers are exposed wide product varieties. To overcome this challenge, firms should ensure that they portray the qualities of the products clearly to win the customers confidence. It is vital for consumers to remain firm and confident about why their products should be selected and not the competitors.
The second limitation of new media advertising stems from the fact that technology is constantly changing. Due to dynamism of technology, rapid innovation to keep abreast of the changing trends is necessary (Liu and Shrum 53). To keep up to date, firms need to invest heavily on research and purchasing new technical equipments to meet the demand of the changing world.
A drastic implementation of new media before laying down good operation mechanism often proves inefficient and unsuccessful (Liu and Shrum 54). Every company that wishes to adopt new media advertisement has to re-organize its policies to make the advertisement effective. For instance, the company should determine the interactive aspect of the advert and the possibility of attracting new international clients. Hence, for the campaign to be successful search possibilities should be considered before adopting the new media.
Further, the advert developer should also think about structural and experiential feature of interactivity, still its worth to evaluate on how to deal with inability to control customers’ choice (Sheryl 47).Technological convergence provides room for integrating different technologies from diverse disciplines such as science, music and technical (Liu and Shrum 60).
The emergency of new media has also developed some social vice such as espionage. The free internet connection has become a hiding place for malicious people who use adverts as disguising object to connive innocent customers to believe they are genuine business dealers.
The unsuspecting customers are cheated to reveal some of their personal information such as credit card numbers, which in return are used to swindle them. The main targets for espionage are facebook and Twitter, the free interactivity between parties promotes mutual friendship which generates trust within a short time.
The other challenge that is associated with the new media is how to get people into a new site. Mostly people are accustomed to visiting the existing website and rarely do customers search for new sites. To introduce new websites firms should devise a way to break the barrier by generating leading hyperlinks in some popular web pages and social sites. In addition, firms should avoid ambiguity in their ads to draw and maintain the attention of the customer interacting with the new media (Brierley 12).
Despite the mentioned limitations, rapid development of new media such as internet Cellular phones and E-mail has provided a channel for timely feedback. Koekermoer and Bird (15) in response to emergence of new media recommend firms to evaluate and do a cost analysis in order to choose advert modes that are most economical yet effective.
The cost incurred in delivering the feedback should be accounted as the advertisement cost. To reduce advertisement cost, new media combines both promotion and feedback costs. By designing automated feedback systems, the organization manages to reduce customer feedback cost significantly.
Organizations should also ensure adverts are customized to target specific customers (Yoo 5). However, obtaining customer information is not easy; it calls for the sales department to maintain a database that provides all the information. Exhaustive market segmentation should be done to acquire fine customer details (Yoo 7). With a reliable customer database, the advert designers stand a better chance of customizing ads to meet each client’s interests.
Cappo (12) acknowledges that “Interactivity is the key characteristic of the new media, which is expected to transform not only the way advertising is designed and implemented but also the manner in which it affects consumers’ opinions and attitudes” Developing customized adverts encourages customer participation, curiosity emanating from customized advert prompts a customer to interact with the advert.
Unlike other types of ads where customers have tendencies of ignoring ads, a customized ad motivates interaction (Yoo 14).
New media has come with various advantages; one of them being instant availability. Since most adverts are posted on the internet, everybody with an internet connection readily accesses at them anytime. Latest developments in cell phones also allow individuals to connect to the internet. The availability of internet related technologies is promoted by its portability. Consequently, advertisers have had to revise their adverts into smaller version to allow access through mobile phones and ensure portability.
Modern businesses have diversified their production lines and as result, they have developed many product lines. New media has the ability to handle various product lines, which otherwise could only be handled by traditional media at high costs. The ability of new media to handle mass advertisement by accommodating varied products in a single advertisement is revolutionary (Brierley 5). Although the modern state-of-the- art technologies have provided possibility of people making purchases at home, consumer still take into consideration Company’s reputation.
The other factor which consumer regard as important is the level of customer service extended by the company e.g. personal contacts through emails and personal commendations. The increase in interactivity between the organization and clients forms an integral part of the advertisement.
New media is slowly but surely becoming the preferred mode of advertising when compared to the traditional advertisement method such as radio, print and television (Spurgeon 12). One of the important characteristics of new media advertising is interactivity. Secondly, it allows for customizing adverts to individual customers at minimal costs.
Finally, new media has proved to be a reliable tool that disregards all geographical barriers as well as cultural barriers. The global reach of new media makes it ideal as an advertising forum. The mentioned benefits notwithstanding, new media has its challenges and advertisers have to be very creative when embracing it.
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