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From Shock and Awe to Hearts and Minds: Navigating the Changing Media Landscape

Presentation by Anne Parsons, Mediacom

January 15, 200815 January 2008

Audience development, arts marketing and communications

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Anne Parsons’ presentation stresses the need to start a dialogue and create a connection with recipients of marketing messages.

The current advertising landscape is characterized by boundless choice but limited attention, low barriers to competitive entry, a focus on consumers, and brands with values and attributes (rather than products with claims). An example is given of competition for people’s attention: in 1974, people received 560 messages per day, a figure that increased to 3,500 by 2005.

The presentation compares the share of advertising spending with the share of consumer time for various media types, with a graph showing that the radio and the internet receive a lower share of advertising spending than consumer time. On the other hand, the press receives a much greater share of advertising spending than consumer time. The presentation recommends that organizations use different media to show different sides of themselves. Different media are more effective in communicating information, emotion, stimulation, etc.

When attempting to start a conversation, organizations are counselled to respect the different degrees of trust and credibility of different sources. The presentation argues that a personal relationship can be built one-on-one, by starting conversations and listening, by showing more than one side of yourself, and by creating a little mystery.

The presentation concludes that “the ideal relationship between a brand and its consumers is a loving one, and advertising is therefore courting, seduction and flirting”.

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