Blog: Media landscape is changing, are you?

Writing

The cross-cultural marketing has been reshaped by the rise of new media. As seen in many mega campaigns synchronized on new media and creativity driven by the use of new media, it may be just only a corner of the iceberg. 

The smartest way to comprehend the new media landscape is to understand the perspective of people who have already bridged the traditional and the new. Yuriy Boykiv is one of them. Having successfully grown international businesses as the former Director at DIRECTV, he co-founded Gravity Media specializing in media and strategies whose fast growth rate has been recognized by AdAge in last three consecutive years. He helps domestic brands target multi-cultural consumers in the US and reaches global audience for international companies. The transformation of his own career indicates the direction of the industry.

"Print declines, radio stays, TV roars, and digital rises. None of the traditional media die out, but the digitalization penetrates all."

Monthly papers are cut out first, followed by the weekly. ‘‘The daily newspaper is the only one that still survives but it is still struggling.’’ Yuriy says. Survivors are those who offer great content and the digital integration. Top players are US major newspaper (e.g. New York Times) and some Hispanic newspapers. Edited by well-seasoned reporters, they dig into stories with a fast turnaround. ‘‘New York Times recently gained 60,000 online subscribers in a week.’’ Yuriy comments. As a result, marketers and agencies will face a fierce competition for limited inventories from only a handful of quality publications with more expensive ad inventory. It's critical for marketers to learn about their target audience's changing media habits in the given sector. 

Radio remains its popularity among drivers or online radio listeners. ‘‘If you have a very good DJ, like Z100, you will have millions of followers all over the country. No matter where they (Z100 listeners) move to, they still go online to listen to the Z100 morning show.’’ With a strong radio personality, Z100 radio is able to reach 70,000 listeners in the US and 153,000 worldwide on a daily basis (Source: Quantcast 2011 data). Regardless of the diversified devices, such as smartphones and tablets, radios with strong content stay. 

‘‘TV has become more popular, both in digitalization and globalization trends". Yuriy has seen many foreign and in-language TV channels launched in the US at DIRECTV. With more options available options, TV audiences are further segmented. ‘‘It is more challenging for marketers but it also makes precision possible. For example, Indian audiences, as a typical TV-savvy community, watch so many programs on different channels at different time. So to spend your marketing dollar smarter, marketers and agencies need to be familiar with channels and programs in detail.’’  ‘‘TV and internet will merge into one, and viewers overlap.’’ Yuiry says. As comScore 2011 data shows 26% multicultural internet subscribers watch TV online and 22% on mobile devices, Asian American audiences are even heavier mobile content viewer, it indicates a shift of media investments. 

"Overall, the traditional media are struggling. There are two survival rules. One is to produce great content. ‘‘The content will never die,’’ Yuriy comments, ‘‘The quality content will always be scarce resource. ’’ The other is to find a way to integrate with digital, as how online TV survives."

Traditional media is still in everyone's plan for campaigns. While it won't dominate the mediascape, advertisers become more skeptical about effectiveness and efficiency of media investments. Different from the mainstream market, multi-cultural markets still fall short on data and analysis, particularly with local media. ‘‘Media planners have to be familiar with the community and watch programs themselves to pick and poke. We learn through trial and error.” Yuriy speaks from his own experience.

In comparison, data analysis is more accessible with digital media. However, what makes marketers panic is social media.while social media generates qualitative impact, such as attitude change, perception transformation, and priority shift, it can be also quantified with precision. For example, in a campaign to drive direct online traffic, the marketers can use CPC ads on social media. ‘‘A good example is Facebook CPC banner, which can be geo-targeted, demographic-targeted and even zip code-targeted.’’ Social media redefines marketers' mindset and KPI (key performance indicator)

‘‘When the smart marketers want to use social media, what they mean is that they want to communicate with customers at a deeper level.’’

Given the importance of KPIs, a large amount of metrics and research tools are built around them, especially with the digital campaigns, while marketers are at different level of understanding data and tools. Having worked with both domestic (US) and international (Non-US) advertisers, Yuriy considers the domestic more knowledgeable of social media and data-driven than international ones. The latter relies on advertising agencies more, especially at their market entry phase. However, they are more receptive to new methods and trust agencies' advice, which may lead to a big leap in using more marketing opportunities and new media. 

Change is unchangeable, what's young professionals' survival rule? 
‘‘Be open-minded. Try to understand the full spectrum of the campaign rather than fixing in one single role. Learn the business inside out. If you have the knowledge, you can do anything.’’ Yuriy advises young professionals.

Knowing the culture is the key to success. Yuriy shares a story about his client, US army's recruitment event. In the beginning of the event, the client's American staff tried to convince attendees to sign up with an aggressive pitch of benefits, with American culture's go-getter philosophy. But it may not work for everyone. Yuriy suggested the staff to start with a conversation about their own unique experience with the program, and to understand the audience’s personal background before going into the business. Talking to Africans, ‘‘in the first 15 minutes, you need to build your report about your family, friends and origin before talking about anything else.’’ With Middle Easterners, ‘‘you need to understand people from that culture are very introvert’’, if you are too direct, it may cause misunderstanding. ‘‘Interacting with East Asians, second guess your words and behavior, as Asian culture is full of symbol.’’ 

Good news is these cultural traits can be learnt, even for outsiders. ‘‘By learning it, it doesn’t mean to read a book. Talk to people, and try to learn about how they react to different situations. Try to understand where they come from, and how they communicate with their parents and their peers. Try to understand what takes them or makes them angry. Learning this kind of nuance, you will understand that we are very much alike but we are so different. Our reactions to certain things are totally different… So this kind of understanding is crucial and it can be achieved if you spend enough time learning about these people…I think the ability to understand these differences is gonna make young professionals much stronger.’’ No matter how cross-cultural mediascape changes, the quality content, marketing principles and cultural elements remain unchangeably important.

More About My Credentials
Project:

Cultural Router Project


Industry:

Marketing, media, blogging


Project Duration:

March 2010 - Present


My Role:

Interviewing, writing, editing, influencer outreach