As an undergraduate student at the Cronkite School, I get an opportunity to learn about a variety of subjects. Today, in my Sports Marketing and Campaign class (it’s actually very minimally related to sports) we learned about the effectiveness of advertising across a variety of mediums.
The first thing made clear was that television was still the king for advertising. Our teacher, who’s also the VP of Marketing for LifeLock – an identity theft protection agency based in Tempe – said the company is contemplating whether or not they want to do a Super Bowl advertisement. The price? $3.5 million dollars.
Our professor went on to look at other mediums and their ad share, including the Internet, tablets, mobile, etc. Later in the lecture, I learned that 51% of television users had an advertisement directly affect a decision they made about buying a product. After switching gears, he offered a more staggering statistic as it pertains specifically to social media: Only 6.8% of social media users saw the same effect, some 45 percentage points lower than its television counterpart.
This could be viewed in a couple lights. First, as a journalist, anything PR related is usually shunned from conversation; those ‘spin doctors’ aren’t worth our time. But in a practical application, journalists are [hopefully] trying to have a similar impact on their readers – what better impact than convincing them to buy your product?
Second, and more importantly, is the fact that the media in general needs leadership in social media. To me, today’s versions of social media ‘experts’ are simply those people that know how to consistently update content on a social media site. And, to be honest, I wish I didn’t have to be so negative on this issue. Unfortunately, based on the above statistics, that’s the reality.
Which brings to me about my final point in leadership: it’s my generation that needs to lead us into the frontier of social media success. Hundreds of millions of people hold accounts on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc., and though no one knows how to monetize it quite yet, it is my youthful generation that needs to be business savvy to figure it out.
It isn’t enough to be a journalist or a PR firm and just update your social media on a daily basis. If it were, Facebook advertising would be $3.5 million an ad like the Super Bowl. I sincerely hope that leaders emerge in this field, because without them, the best media content may struggle to remain sustainable.