There was a time where people used to read newspapers as their main source of information. It was a time in which radio broadcasts were interrupted by breaking news and TV had an off signal image and a high level pitch to make you notice that you’ve fallen asleep watching the latest show (just for the record, this is not the technical reason, but it is funny). These were times where people just began questioning the power of media and their influence over audiences.
There was a time where elections were won through mass media, through sending a huge amount of messages without an exact target, in which population opinion was so homogeneous, that one message suited all of the population. Or was it? How this relates, even closely to digital media, you might be asking.
There was a time (in 1947), when Elisabeth Noelle-Neumann coined the term “Spiral of silence” in which she stated that a huge amount of those targeted individuals were affected by an overwhelming feeling of pressure coming from public opinion to keep quiet and maintain the status quo of society. I’m just paraphrasing, do your Google research to understand better.
Now, her theory resonated in my mind while looking at my social media feed. How much are we leaving unsaid as brands, as people, as media, as individuals, due to the huge amount of information out there that is establishing our public opinion on topics such as immigration laws, drug regulation, water, digital media, the way we work out, and even the way we decide to eat, talk, and dress.
My previous post discussed the amount of social media that we are using. That was not only bragging about my Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Vimeo, and WordPress accounts (and yes, I have a Google+ now). When the amounts of media outlets are numerous and the amount of data transferred through them is increasing, the chances of getting more noise out of them increase. If the noise increases, the decoder is not effective, thus the receiver is incapable of interpreting the correct message. All this is tied to brands and social media I swear – bear with me.
As digital marketers we offer a “standard formula” of Twitter, Facebook, and whatever-other-trending-social media is remotely working. But we lose sight of the actual reach of our branding efforts. I’m not questioning the social media efficiency (Obama’s last election proves that it work). Nevertheless I do question our ability to understand how much information we send and how much is actually getting through our target customers’ eyes.
I propose a new communication and marketing strategy (it’s not mine, but I claim it): content is king – I’m trademarking that phrase, because it’s the title of my upcoming book. It is, indeed, all about content. The perfect example: ads that you actually WANT to watch and not just switch channels. Through content, we as marketers could diminish the effects of noise, generating better leads and, ultimately, generate conversions. A great example comes from Apple this Holiday period -despite how much I’m not an Apple fan and completely HATE Christmas – content in this ad switches off every noise and delivers a clear and specific message: