Which Medium is the Message in 2009?

In a survey, Media Myths and Realities conducted in late 2008 by Ketchum, one of the largest global public relations agencies and the University of Southern California Annenberg Strategic Public Relations Center it was revealed that consumers are using a wider variety of channels than ever before. Newer channels, such as blogs and social networking sites, are gaining more and more traction. The survey found that 26% of consumers use social networking sites, compared to 17% in 2006. The usage of blogs nearly doubled (24% in 2008 compared to 13% in 2006).

Photo courtesy of Sam LeVan

Photo courtesy of Sam LeVan

Influential consumers – the 10% to 15% of the population who initiate change in their communities – of which 43% read blogs by nonjournalists (compared to 16% of the general population) and 32% read blogs written by journalists (8% of the general population).

Conversely, the use of more established media channels continues to wane. The survey revealed that 65% of consumers use major network television news as a source of information (down from 71% in 2006). Local television news saw a sharper drop – 62% in 2008 compared to 74% in 2006.

The use of shopping Web sites among consumers has doubled from 2006 to 2008, with 44% of those visiting shopping Web sites reading consumer reviews and comments there, showing that these sites have transformed into virtual social gathering places and information destinations, rather than just a place to purchase goods.

Consumers are placing more trust in the experiences of their online peers than they are on the retailer’s product descriptions. This means media audiences are having just as much influence, if not more, as the content providers themselves.

Consumer Usage of Online Media (% of US Consumers Using)
Online Media % of Consumers Using

2006

2008

Search engines

61%

59%

Email newsletters

40

42

Cable TV news sites

38

31

Social networking sites

17

26

Company website

22

26

Blogs

13

24

Shopping sites

17

35

Videocasts

6

11

Podcasts

5

7

Company Email blasts

7

9

Business news sites

8

8

RSS news feed

5

7

Mobile media

5

6

Source: Ketchum Public Relations, January 2009

The use of more established media channels continues to wane. 65% of consumers use major network television news as a source of information (down from 71% in 2006). Local television news saw a sharper drop – 62% in 2008 compared to 74% in 2006.

Traditional Media Media Usage (% of Consumers)
Media % of US Consumers Using

2006

2008

Major network TV News

71%

65%

Local newspapers

69

63

Local TV news

74

63

Cable network news

47

49

Family/friends advice

44

47

Talk radio

36

31

Coworker advice

23

30

National newspapers

18

18

Consumer magazines

23

18

Trade magazines/newsletters

13

12

Celebrity endorsement

14

10

Source: Ketchum Public Relations, January 2009

What can we learn from this? Social media of all forms is a fast growing and influential marketing channel that cannot be ignored. You should be looking at blogs, Twitter, Linkedin, Video Blogging and forums as marketing channels for your service or business.

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This entry was posted in Advertising, Blogging, Social Networking. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Which Medium is the Message in 2009?

  1. Yan you have done a great job with TSB and keeping it as a blog for beginners is definitely the right decision

    Thank you so much for the read, great stuff

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