A colleague of mine said it well, "New media is no longer new but its definition varies by awareness, education and experience of the user.” There are many revolutionary products and services that the market offers. It seems that everyday brings with it new ideas that enhance our efficiency. Responsive web design, startup incubators and mobile payments are three progressive products and services that aren’t necessarily “new” media, but can be considered new enhancements that aid growth, advancement and understanding.
Responsive Web Design
Responsive design encapsulates the need for users to view a website on different browsers and devices. This design and development of a website uses what is called media queries and represents fluid grids depending on your browser size. The content on a website is easily and efficiently viewed on all mediums, giving the user a meaningful experience in understanding your brand and messaging. With the on-the-go user, mobile has become a necessary element of any brand. Media queries allows the user to experience your website on their mobile or tablet, while offering the same content users experience on the website. Sites like http://responsive.is offer designers, developers and clients a view of how their site presents across different browsers and devices.
Collaborative work environments have been around for ages. Many are now drilling deeper and providing benefits that past environments did not. As one example, Geekdom in San Antonio, TX, caters to entrepreneurs, technologists, developers and “creatives” looking to build a business and create meaningful products and services that satisfy a need in the marketplace. Geekdom provides a work setting for individuals working toward common goals and objectives in the greater San Antonio-Austin area, according to its website.
Clients and consumers are on the go. Increasing efficiency is part of the core idea of creating something “new”. Mobile payments have become more popular, offering convenience and expediency to the user.
We have all heard of Square and even PayPal Here, but event management software, like Eventbrite, is getting into the game. What makes Eventbrite’s At The Door product unique and different is the integration of sale and the consumer information for database collection, and attendee follow-up, which creates a seamless new business and event tracking system. Mobile payments are an example of the direction that companies like Eventbrite will benefit from because it is an innovation/evolution to the mobile payment market.
Although innovative, these progressive forms of media are not “new”, but what is “new” is the approach and the creative minds seeing a need in the market or industry. This is how “new” is reinvented to fill current voids. As a result, it then becomes important to take into consideration a few things:
- What determines the label "new"?
- Why is the newest thing a priority to some but not to others?
- Why are some industries more progressive than others and quicker to act than others?
Certainly an industry’s culture, awareness, education and experiences all help to determine and influence the value of “new”. We all have the same access to media and communications, but the way these mediums reach certain industries differ. I believe it is industry culture that plays the largest role in helping to determine awareness, education and experiences as it relates to defining “new”. Some industries are traditional and/or conservative, while others present a progressive approach to marketing and advertising. For example, there is a large disparity between professional services firms and consumer packaged goods (CPG) companies.
Professional Services & Consumer Packaged Goods
Professional services firms can learn a lot from consumer package goods. From social media integration, to interactive, to advertising campaigns, the CPG industry has been at the forefront of interacting with their audience in unique ways. As a generalization, they have been very successful in listening and developing those two-way conversations. On the flip side, professional services firms are not as progressive and would consider social media and even mobile “new”, when in fact what is really “new” is their education level and understanding of the mediums.
The client base and the competitive landscape of an industry has a direct relationship with the experience level of marketing and advertising and the flow of information through communication channels. Clients affect the way a company markets to them. Historically, clients and prospects within the professional services industry find their information in more traditional ways, such as radio, print advertising, online, etc. Contrary to them, the CPG world integrates these traditional mediums with innovative ways to create two-way conversations with their consumers, including interactive, social media, event promotion, gorilla marketing, etc.
Both industries are competitive in their own right and while professional services firms are famous for their competitive nature and similarities in website content and visuals, CPG companies perpetually look for differentiation and increased market share in an already cluttered marketplace (just think laundry detergent and you will understand what I am talking about). Ideally, this disparity should not occur since we all have access to the same communication channels, but industry culture can be hindering, perhaps leading to this disparity
It is our job as a marketing and advertising agency to consistently gauge the market and our industry in helping to determine the next best thing, or methods to help our clients get their messages across in an effective and efficient way in order to bridge the gap in information flow and encourage action. Research and development is an ongoing process of progression and motivation and this is where it all begins. Continued movement of a brand to the next level needs to be at the forefront of one’s agenda—regardless of the industry you are in. Figuring out the need, filling the void and bridging the gap by creating meaningful connections on integrated platforms is what “new” media is all about.
Reprinted from Marketing the Law Firm's The Business of Branding column. Permission granted by the Law Journal Newsletters.