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Manufacturing Indaba 2018

Is media marketing still in the dark ages?

Is it me, or do other people also question why media focus on their content in their pay-off lines, positionings and/or slogans?
When I consume media, whether it be magazines, radio, TV, newspapers or even the internet, I'm exposed to the content of the publication. Why then, does a slogan tell me what the content is? If one compares media to FMCG it's like the positioning line of a tin of peas is the ingredients panel!

Everything we eat, make use of, drive and wear indicates who we are; and so does the media we consume. If I read Noseweek, Time Magazine, listen to SAFM and read online newspapers through Media24, it paints a picture as to what kind of person I am. This also determines the kind of conversations I have with colleagues and friends. Again, this paints a picture of who I am.

Having scanned through many of the magazines, radio stations and other various forms of media in South Africa, there were virtually none that does not claim to be the best or the biggest in their category, for example, the largest radio station in Joburg.

The only publication I found that that does something different was Ethical Living. Their slogan reads, "For consumers who care". At least this publication is trying to position itself by addressing a characteristic aspect of its target market.

Making consumers aware

When a new product is launched, it's only natural to focus on its intrinsics so as to make consumers aware of what the product is. However, once this is communicated and consumers are aware of what the product is, the marketing route should then be to focus on the benefits of the product, i.e. what it does for you.

But not the media, they carry on telling you the intrinsics of the product although there is no barrier for trial, except for DStv which is relatively expensive. There is no cost to listen to radio stations, scan them and decide which one I'm going to listen to at what time of the day.

I don't know if I'm the only one, but I find it extremely irritating when they tell me what the content of the radio station is while I'm actually listening to it. TV falls into the same trap. I'm watching a channel and they're telling me what the channels' content is!

Media has the same challenge that FMCG brands face, in that products have become so similar, that differences between them are miniscule from an intrinsic point of view. That is why FMCG brands spend so much money on their brand image and the benefits they deliver to consumers rather than their instrinsics/contents.

So, my learned colleagues out there, please let me know your thoughts, because I just don't get it. It seems that media marketing is stuck in the 1950's!

About Rolf Akermann

Passionate Marketing / Brand Strategist with substantial industry experience - Thrives on building and growing successful brands...