Thursday, March 10, 2011

The Role New Media can play as a Marketing Communications tool in Pakistan

Not very long ago ‘New Media’ was considered just another addition to the buzz words. Even though the pundits of the field were making some positive predictions for its future, no one was really expecting it to explode in the manner in which we know it today & yet there is more to come. Today new media is the rage.

The new customer is deeply involved with the products & what goes behind the scene in the making & presenting of that product. You can’t just sell your product to your customer these days. Life is no more that simple. The sale depends on the ability of the company to communicate its message; & that message is not only limited to the attributes of the product. Thanks to the technology people are much better informed & aware of their surroundings & this has also helped in making people more conscious of their rights & roles. 

New media has become a surrogate world & the presence of people in this world is on a continuous rise, both in number & strength. Almost everyone who is not completely technologically challenged has a facebook account. A forum which has become a major hub for market research & a front on which the marketing team aims to achieve success so that it is better able to communicate with their customers. Brands have been known to be brought down, if an extremely bad word of mouth is spread. In fact this is no exaggeration when stated that new media can be used as a synonymous for word of mouth. Some other forums that are part of this design include Twitter, Myspace & Blogs. Orkut which now part of history for most of us after facebook came in, but still there is a large Asian population that has active accounts there.    

Like the rest of the world, there is a strong Pakistani presence in the cyber space, even though the rate of education is pretty low. However, companies especially the local ones have yet not been able to exploit the strength of new media as a marketing communications tool to the fullest. The main problem for this is the rigidness in the mindset of the industry. They themselves have not yet completely defined the boundaries of marketing & sales & have not yet fully understood the power of the customers. They are victims of most of the myth that the communities exist for sustaining brands; that they will just come up with a product & people will just but it because it’s there, & the list can just go on & on.  

Reality however has a different stance. We too are part of the global village & people have the exposure through this very new media as to what is happening elsewhere & have access to the brands that know how to pamper their customers. So the competition is not just local. There is a lot happening at the entrepreneurship sector in the country & they are using the new media for communication, both locally & globally. The seasoned organizations need to follow suit as well, because this medium has the potential of expanding their target market & build their image & most importantly, its influence is not dying out in the near future as the customers have tasted power & are not going to let it go.      

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