We have had to re-imagine the way we communicate

In case you have missed it, the world has changed the way it communicates. In South Africa in 1984 the Facsimile machine was the latest thing, the internet only became popular in 1992, email was not in general use until a few years later and the Post Office was the main means of distributing written communication.

Similarly mobile phones in their most basic form only became popular in South Africa in the latter part of the nineties. For those caught in the time warp, cellphones have evolved into smart phones which are loaded with new tools of communication. I talk here of apps like Facebook, Google+, Twitter, Pinterest and others.

These tools of communication have been created as we have re-imagined the way we communicate. This new communications environment extends beyond keeping in touch with each other. It also encompasses how we read books, acquire audio and video as well.

Technology has disrupted the way things are done and to a large extent we as individuals have compensated and made changes as we have embraced Facebook, Twitter and other social media but the same cannot be said for corporates. Evidence of this lack of change in the corporate world lies in the marketing spending patterns that corporates cling to.

Numerous studies have shown that a disproportionate amount of ad spend is placed in print media such as newspapers and magazines. Corporates are far behind when it comes to spending on internet based media. The same studies have shown that the internet is capturing more of our attention than print media. Some media houses are changing. Yesterday Newsweek announced that they would no longer have a printed edition in 2013. Globally, print media captures about 7% of our attention, and yet it garners about 24% of the ad spend.

That tells us corporates and governments are spending a disproportionate amount of money in print. Are you still caught in this time warp?

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