With the rise of digital technology and social media, traditional forms of mass communication, such as print, have been negatively impacted. In fact. in the marketing industry, it's common enough to hear that print has all but died out.
While this statement is not exactly true (just think about how many menus, signs and posters you saw on your morning walk), the digital era has definitely got us looking down — at our phones rather than at the pages of a magazine. Our phones are not only used as a sales pitch for other digital mediums, such as websites, videos and games, but also used to leverage the limelight away from traditionally print-heavy content, including news articles, magazines, tabloids and even the humble banner ad.
Why is it we prefer digital?
As we can see today, many global brands have already transitioned their entire media strategy from print to social and digital media, a shift which has yielded significant results. Red Bull, in particular, is often cited as a successful case study in this regard.
To briefly review the success story, Dietrich Mateschitz founded Red Bull Media House in 2007. Ever since, they’ve changed their pitch from print to digital media, thriving in media content generation. From short clips of the highest jump ever recorded to extreme sports sponsorship, the energy drink company’s content has been focused on how people use the internet rather than simply reiterating their main selling points. Red Bull has become synonymous with a fast-paced, active lifestyle not by telling people but by creating content that people want to see, with the branding a support act to the main entertainment. What's more, they quickly cottoned on to the fact that people like short, digestible content that’s instantly gettable, rewatchable and shareable without the primary advertising message getting in the way.
Their SOP (Statement of Purpose) was to be a media publisher rather than a traditional, functional drink manufacturer. And they started distributing their content to convey their brand value and message.
Red Bull Media House has achieved immense success in a short span of time, with billions of views on the internet, consistently ranking among the top five channels on Billboard. In 2011, they launched their second episode of the documentary film "The Art of Flight," which was a hit across all streaming and downloading platforms.
Building off success.
It only took them several years to achieve such gravitas, and it all stemmed from having a giant media content empire. So far, Red Bull holds and sponsors 1250+ events in culture and sports, across 100+ disciplines, in over 160 countries and with 700+ top-notch athletes on board.
However, Red Bull's success is an extreme example. Not all brands or businesses can implement such a big transformation to establish their own media empire or even buy into a media studio, allowing their content publishers to communicate better with their audience.
But thinking as a content publisher, operating as a media studio and generating high-quality content to achieve huge brand assets are what ensures performance amongst brands in the wild, wild digital west.
The question that remains is whether all brands and businesses need to transform into media content publishers for better communication.
The answer is no.
Dietrich Mateschitz says of their strategy that what they’ve done doesn’t reflect the transformation from a beverage brand to a media brand. Instead, what they are after is finding the best way to communicate their brand value and perception by delivering a highly emotional bond with their products and ensuing a lifestyle philosophy.
On the face of it, what Red bull did is nothing beyond magic, but in reality their campaign drills into the very essence of marketing. The key is to find the right targets and answer the question satisfactorily as to what they want and what they desire.
However, when it comes to effective communication, a lot of it boils down to simply communicating with clients.
How digital changed marketing.
Some people might think it’s too simple, but the truth is many businesses fail to communicate effectively.
Before we get into the first principle of modern communication, there is a common truism that we first need to understand. Over the last few decades, the internet and digital technologies have fundamentally changed how we act and respond to content, whether it be filmed, written or ‘memed’.
But unlike the industrial revolution, the internet is not a new creature that was born from the concrete jungle. It’s not a new competitor. Instead, the internet revolution has rewritten the rules of modern business, and it has created a new digital ecosystem; a new era.
It’s not laziness or the inability to adopt new principles that results in businesses getting left behind either. They fall apart only because they’re not operating within current trends. And one of those major trends is, you guessed it – communication.
So the revolution continues. You can find out more about how digital trends have overwhelmed all industries and forged a new path between consumers and businesses in part two of this blog.