Media and the Digital Networked Society


Danny Meadows-Klue in interview in Wirtschaftsblatt, Austria

What is the future of online-advertising. I think in Austria are people slowly discovering, that the big revenue from online ads is still missing. What do you think of that?

• Austrian marketing directors are missing a trick, a big trick
• Over 5.5million Austrians are online and many are heavy internet users. On average they’re spending over 16 hours a month on the web and clocking up around 2000 page views. That’s a massive audience and yet much of the time they are being missed.
• The solution’s simple - do the maths: Audit where your consumers are spending their time and where the brand is spending it’s budget. I’ve been helping marketing directors audit their media effectiveness for over 10 years and there’s usually a massive difference between where the audience is and where the marketing money is being spent.
• Online newspapers and online media have gained massive audiences in Austria, and as marketers think about how to get the most value from their advertising they need to be looking intensely on the web
• Why? Internally, many brands rely on research about their consumers that has failed to track the massive role the web now plays in their lives
• Here in the UK it’s over 22 hours per person per month; 20% of advertising, but that still behind where most consumers are

You worked as a brand manager for the back in 1995. How was it in the digital publishing industry 15 years ago. Was it easier to find a business model. What has changed?

• It’s about digitally native publishing; using the core strengths of the web to create content that really works.
• Success in digital publishing isn’t simply ‘copying and pasting’ from other media, that’s only a starting point. I hate the copy and paste model because many media groups sit back and think ‘job done’ once the material is online. The web is such a richer publishing environment than that: archived editorial reports should be linked from today’s news, readers should be commenting on stories, People should be adding their reviews and ratings to films the newspaper reviewer has written, video should be part of the story telling, tagging and personalisation should be in every publishers’ platform.
• Website publishers need to view their website as a brand in its own right: it needs love and attention, with marketers nurturing traffic and building awareness of the site
• Remember, the consumers are in control
• That’s why so many brands use online media – it’s not simply about getting clicks from Google, it’s about building awareness in the consumer’s mind

Print vs. online: What are possible developments?

• Online builds on the brand values of print journalism
• The web doesn’t replace journalism, and that’s why newspapers need to be investing heavily in their digital teams: digital channels will be the future drivers of revenue in newspaper groups, but only for the newspaper groups that continue providing quality
• Comment and analysis: this is the battleground for newspapers. It’s no longer about the race to break a news story, it’s about what the story means for its readers
• Newspapers also need to be investing in the key classified advertising sectors: job, property, motoring, travel etc
• Newspapers need to be the home of a community online

Digital brands: How do you create and manage a digital brand. Is this very different from an "analogue" brand?

• The rules of branding have not changed, but the techniques and channels certainly have…
• Consumers are now part of the marketing process, that means brands need to engage with the consumer effectively; brands need to fundamentally rethink the way they connect with consumers and create content consumers want to receive
• And they need to change their media mix to reflect where consumers spend their time; in Austria this probably means reassessing the role of television in the media mix, questioning the real level of impact, looking for whether the advertising has the impact and cut-through that it did ten years ago
• Too many brands spend too much attention on television, chasing audiences that have moved online
• TV can still play a role, but it’s probably a smaller role
• Just look at where your audiences are today

You say that the digital networked society is still at the beginning. Where's that evolution leading?

• It may seem crazy, but these are the early days of the digital networked society.
• Most content is still offline
• Most social networks are not yet digital; at most they’re in a mobile phone address book
• Most consumers are not using new generation mobile handsets (like the iPhone or the Nokia N97) to access the web
• Most people still have to pay for web access
…as these all change, the scale of the shift in audiences and their focus will be massive

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