Social media will become a standard part of media planning.
The difficult economic situation is reflected in budget planning within the advertisement industry. But monetary bottlenecks aren’t by any means the only problem. Many hard-to-miss uncertainties about ad concepts also pose difficulties. The real challenge for 2010 lies in rethinking and restructuring media strategies and a more focused search for new target groups.
The need to expand reach within the select core and additional target groups compels decision makers to select platforms and media more systematically, finding those in which the target groups are actually active. Planning criteria like “Sinus Milieus” are increasingly in the background and are enhanced or replaced by “soft factors”, such as content affinity.
The escalating user levels in social media are transforming social media from a nice addition to an established part of media planning. Dialogue with media users and interaction with target groups are becoming more important to anyone who must deal with media planning. The still-conservative trend of investing a small percentage of the TV budget in social media marketing will (by necessity) continue to develop in 2010.
Social media marketing, or better social media interaction, is much more than the integration of Facebook and Twitter. It is the strategic, all-inclusive planning of blogs, forums, communities, and social networks. There are already more than 2,500 relevant platforms in the German market alone, and the number is rising. The social media interface falls right between above and below-the-line advertising and planning must be just as structured, concrete, and precise as planning for traditional media. The sharpest attention should be given to strategic brand management. The internet doesn’t forget, meaning badly-placed or misleading advertisements can hurt a brand for years.
+ Pocket newspapers? eReader becomes a must for publishers.
The eReaders presents publishers with a chance to use digitisation to gain new readers and establish payment and subscription models, saving substantial costs.
Following the remarkable success of the Apple iPhone and the Amazon Kindle, electronic reading devices (eReaders) are becoming an attractive way for the consumer press to deliver their content to readers at a charge. German press like the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Handelsblatt, and Wirtschaftswoche are already available at the Kindle Store. Spiegel and Stern have announced that their magazines will be offered on the iPhone starting in 2010. And Axel Springer AG has offered an iPhone app at a charge since December 2009.
Internationally, publishers are also scrambling to develop digital distribution concepts. In Switzerland, Swisscom has launched a pilot project in cooperation with the major publishing houses, offering an own eReader. Numerous US publishers want to create a digital kiosk for mobile reading devices.
Publishers’ hopes aren’t without a basis. Newspapers on the eReader could dispense with the former printing and distribution expenses. This could lead to cost savings of up to 40 percent. Personalised news services and new revenue models can also be implemented on the eReader. This is a trend that newspaper publishers can’t afford to pass up in 2010.
+ Hope for mobile market: mobile data services will help compensate for sales declines
Until 2005, mobile communications was a booming industry. Each year brought new customers and sales gains in the billions. But it has been downhill since. By 2009, mobile communications could decline by more than 16 percent compared to 2005 and lose 4.5 billion euros in sales, according to current estimates by VATM (Association of Telecommunications and Value-Added Service Providers in Germany).
The cause is quite clear: with increasing market saturation, the crowding effect increases competition, decreasing prices further and further. Goldmedia calculates that ARPU (Average Revenue per User) has fallen from 30 euros in 2002 to barely more than 15 euros at the end of 2009.
Data services offer a chance for compensation: not including SMS/MMS, they made up 14 percent of total sales in 2009 – with the trend growing. But they won’t completely compensate mobile network operator for sales declines in 2010 either.
Mobile providers’ data gateways are still only the basic infrastructure for advanced applications that build upon them. As this infrastructure increasingly spreads, the full potential of mobile applications will open up. Network effects will work through the increasing use of mobile internet. These effects will become more evident in 2010.
So-called “apps” for the iPhone are already revealing the possibilities and direction of mobile services. From the July 2008 launch of Apple’s App Store to September 2009, more than two billion apps had already been downloaded. An estimate from August 2009 calculated that the App Store generates sales of about 200 million US dollars per month. In Germany, Axel Springer Verlag has just begun selling apps in the market.
Growth in the mobile communications market will primarily be seen in the area of mobile applications themselves. New innovations in end devices, like the Apple touch netbook, which is a subject of hot discussion in forums and news articles, could give these apps and related sales a push forward.
+ Market and media research: changes in consumer behaviour demand new analysis systems
The intense struggle for users’ attention will continue in 2010. It will become more and more difficult for companies and brands to reach the center of consumers’ focus, because just being found in an increasingly divergent media world has become a problem. As the number of marketing channels climbs exponentially, the importance of each individual channel sinks further.
Changes in media use confront research with new challenges. Although an ad on a major TV channel used to reach the bulk of the target group, the marketing budget must now be spread among many channels. Consumers are not only eluding classic advertisement, but also taking away the basis of classic ad booking and accounting systems. Media researchers must develop current tools and systems to register, explain, and forecast more varied consumer behavior. The focus of the investigation cannot be the simple payout in terms of media contacts, but rather an intensive search for answers: Where do I find my target group(s)? How do I get positive publicity and how can it be measured?
Substantiated measurements for success forecasts are becoming especially important. New methods of analysis, like data mining in combination with measurements and artificial intelligence methods, can contribute substantially to planning security and risk minimisation for all parties. Cost savings will remain key for 2010 marketing budgets – efficiency will come first. And this is exactly where the potential for change in media use lies, potential which must now be made usable. Adequate market and media research can contribute to this goal.
Since 1998 Goldmedia (goldmedia.de) has provided national and international clients with high quality consulting and research services in the fields of media, entertainment and telecommunications. Goldmedia offers: in-depth analysis of markets and competitors; forecasts and strategic consulting services; the implementation of new business models; and consulting for restructuring whole companies, including M&A processes in the field of corporate finance. Goldmedia-Group: Goldmedia GmbH Media Consulting & Research, Goldmedia Sales & Services GmbH and Goldmedia Custom Research GmbH. The company's head office is in Berlin, Germany. Goldmedia is a member of the international network European Media Consulting Association – EMCA.