New media has been the next big thing for some time now. From Snapchat filters to Google Glass or QR codes (yes, they're still relevant) each promises to revolutionize the way marketers reach people. Clients and creatives alike are quick to jump in and see how each new campaign and project can have a social component that includes the latest trend. But what’s often forgotten in the fervor of analytics, hype and new possibilities is that new media – like all other media – is simply another tool and should only be used when appropriate.
A new medium should be used with discretion, understanding and purpose—not because it’s trendy or cool. Using emerging media without properly understanding it – aside from being a waste of time and resources – can do more harm than good.
In 2016, traditional media is still very relevant. It can be far more valuable than emerging media to the correct audience. Each has their respective strengths and weaknesses. The introduction of new avenues of communication only makes each form of communication more specialized.
So when should a brand embrace these bold new frontiers? Well, as soon as they can find their audience. Going back to Marketing 101, marketers must remember that they’re reaching an audience. And not just any audience, but one that takes interest in what they’re selling. Views are good, but the right views are better, and luckily most new media has some pretty specific targeting. So if your audience happens to be on Peach, Kik, or Slack, then by golly you need to figure out what the hell those are and then get on Peach, Kik, or Slack.
No other medium is a one-size-fits-all solution, and it’s probably safe to say that whatever Silicon Valley sends down the pipeline next won’t be either. Agencies and clients just need to keep in mind that the messaging hasn’t changed, but the delivery has. A quality message that reflects brand values will be effective regardless of whether it is printed in the New York Times or shared on Instagram.
Audiences and media constantly change. In fact, Aristotle had the recipe for viral media marketing figured out in 350 BC. Just as Aristotle’s methods of appealing to logic and emotion made his speeches more memorable and persuasive, gathering attention using modern social media, works the same way. The medium changed, but the messages have not; they have merely adapted to fit a new mold.
What's your opinion on the use of new media in the business world? Share your thoughts with us on social media or via email →