Mass media influence vs. Social Media influencer
Giving lectures at the university about media planning makes you repeat a considerable number of times sentences, such as ‘the mean qualify the message’, which means that receptors assume that a campaign has certain features depending on the media we decide to use to launch that campaign. This sentence based on the fact that media generates a concrete opinion and influence in people, has been undoubtedly certain throughout advertising history. Our parents decided to buy a concrete car by consulting Car & Driver, didn’t they?
‘It has been a great revolution in this field that users who are experts in a certain matter, have the capacity to create a digital world where they assess, comment or recommend concrete products and brands.’
In this last decade a technological revolution has been generating changes in the cross–relations between consumers, media and brands, especially in the case of the first one. What do we know about the new kind of consumers?
- That technology offers to them a huge bunch of election options and this results in consumers not being loyal to just one brand.
- That now they are MEANS instead of receptors (we will come to this later).
- That they want to participate, make choices, experience and get involved. They are aware of their power and want to exercise it.
- That they do not have time to listen to us.
It has been a great revolution in this field that users who are experts in a certain matter, have the capacity to create a digital world where they assess, comment or recommend concrete products and brands. This new media channels (developed within the general public), well–maintained and positioned, end up becoming a huge influence in the consumption of goods and services. Repeating the previous questions, where did you find the last running shoes you bought? Checking an article from a newspaper? a blog about running?
In view of this background, it is necessary to redefine the undoubtedly existing capacity of big and mass media to generate influence, especially in innovative areas and amongst the segment of public that are more prepared for the digital world. Some opt for an easy solution, they integrate these influential profiles in their structure instead of trying to compete against them (it is too late for that).
There are other solutions that are not so valid. We have been recently witnesses of an obvious case of plagiarism on the part of RAC1 of the musical youtuber Jaime Altozano. This case demonstrates a total ignorance of new codes, among other factors, giving that today is almost impossible that nobody realizes about the similarities between both cases. Many listeners of the radio programme Versió from Ramón Gener in Catalonia followed a Youtube channel of ‘one of their own’ (who would have said it?, content about chords, music theory and people from Catalonia...). That is why Jaime Altozano could demonstrate the plagiarism almost real time.
I am in no doubt that media in its classical version and scale continue being main references in respect of generating opinion. Its structures, content and positioning investments, human resources and the weight of tradition suggest that it will and should continue being that way. It is also clear that there are users that are experts in a concrete subject, they are aware of their technological capabilities and are motivated to spend time giving their opinion. There are also users that are amateurs on these matters and think that the fact that ‘someone like them’ recommends a product is more significant that big media. In this trench battle we can not go in a transatlantic of millions of turnover and hundreds of resources. There is enough space for everybody as soon as we understand the new equation, we will be closer to economic feasibility of content.