Media Redefined: Behaviour is truth
by Martin MacGregor (@MartMacG) I’m writing this at 11.30pm, the day before Black Friday. Normally I would be fast asleep, but I’m biding time as I wait to do some frenzied online shopping after 12. Even a year ago, I would have dismissed the possibility of this strange behaviour. But here I am, struggling to keep my eyes open. My behaviour has most definitely changed.
Biggest marketing challenge
The biggest challenge any marketing activity has to do is to get consumers to change behaviour. At brief stage, this always feels like an insurmountable obstacle. Yet our behaviour is changing all the time, in strange and unthought of ways.
This is no different when it comes to media consumption and, if I just look at myself over the last year and the small shifts I’ve made, the change has been substantial. This really has been the tipping-point year, and there’s no going back.
An obvious move has been the DStv switch-off and Netflix switch-on. I live in a sports-mad household so I still have both, but cracks are really starting to show in the sports rights market. The DStv monopoly will end; it’s just about the “when”.
More interesting has been more time-shifted radio consumption through podcasts. I’m a big Eusibius MacKaiser fan as I find his arguments compelling, even though I disagree often. His interviews are fascinating but, as they happen while I’m work, I can rarely listen to them. I follow him on Twitter, though, and he conveniently pins his standout podcast of his interview of the day on his Twitter profile. This means that, in the afternoon traffic, I’m able to enjoy the radio I want to listen to.
Behaviour changes more often than not are linked to ease. If something is on offer that makes it easier, the behaviour will change.
Technology is driving solutions which make things easier, whether it’s shopping or listening to the radio. And lower and lower data costs, especially in South African, means media-consumption behaviour changes are spreading across the population.
This is first year I can say I haven’t read a newspaper. There’s nothing easy about buying, holding or reading newsprint, not to mention that the content is out of date. Globally, only two kinds on newspapers are surviving:
- Newspapers that absolutely meet the needs of a big, commuter city resident. In London, the freshly printed Evening Standard is handed to you as you enter any tube station on the way home. It’s the right size, content is from the day but, most importantly, it’s an easy, convenient read after a day of staring at a screen.
- Newspapers that have such high credible, quality analysis that, without reading them, there’s a real sense of having missed out. Only the New York Times, Washington Post and a handful of others can claim this space.
I curate my own ‘newspaper’ by following a wide range of journalists and content hubs that can give me all the views I need. It’s easy and allows me to form my own opinion.
Challenge for 2019
My media-consumption behaviour changes this year are fundamental and there’s no going back. This challenge for brands in 2019 is how they are going to really deal with a very, very different media landscape — they’ll definitely no longer be able to hide in comfortable, old media.
Martin MacGregor (@MartMacG) is managing director of Connect, an M&C Saatchi Company, with offices in Johannesburg and Cape Town. Martin has spent 18 years in the industry, and has previously worked at Ogilvy and was MD of MEC Nota Bene in Cape Town. He contributes the monthly “Media Redefined” column, in which he challenges norms in the media space, to MarkLives.com.
— One subscription form, three newsletters: sign up now for the MarkLives newsletter, including Ramify headlines; The Interlocker, our new monthly comms-focused mailer; and Brands & Branding, launching soon!