The world is changing. Long gone are the days of newspaper deliveries and all the information we want is now at our fingertips through devices such as smartphones and tablets. For example, the experience of learning is no longer limited to lecture halls or institutions, as teachers and lecturers are able to broadcast their lectures online. Meanwhile, prominent chefs are now abandoning the long detailed recipe books they used to write and reinventing the market by creating revenue through YouTube channels. Likewise, the traditional understanding of jobs is evolving as the world shifts towards a digital age and the marketing industry is no exception.
|[Google image search result for ‘how to cook ravioli with tomato sauce’.
Photo taken by Rin Choi ]
In the last decade, services and products have become more individualized – along with the advent of technologies that have made digital devices much more accessible – all while personal devices have been creating demand for content specifically targeted towards users. As such demand emerges, it is undeniable that the marketing and advertising industry is adapting to the trend. For example, advertisers today seek expertise in Google keyword marketing rather than focusing on manpower to distribute flyers and posters to promote their products and services. Marketing is about responding to the changes occurring in the present, and thus the marketing industry is transforming in order to satisfy the ever-changing demand of consumers.
|[Interviewing Professor Sungkwon Ha of the School of Visual Arts, New York.
Photo Courtesy of Kevin Kim]
To gain a deeper understanding of how the marketing industry is evolving, I interviewed Sungkwon Ha, a professor at the School of Visual Arts (SVA) and advertising director for Publicis, a renowned marketing firm located in New York. According to Professor Ha, the marketing industry is indeed experiencing a transformation in terms of jobs, and this transformation is being driven by one crucial factor: new ideas. He said that startups comprise one of the fastest-growing markets for the industry, and new ideas about logos, branding, or positioning are necessary for success. Moreover, Professor Ha pointed out that traditional TV commercials and advertisements are declining as more people have been exposed to advertisements on social media platforms than television since 2012. Speaking about the future, Professor Ha said, “Companies in the industry definitely should adapt to the new trend. They should focus on making product designs that are ‘Instagrammable’ or suitable for social media marketing.” He added, “It’s not about the design itself but more about what people want to see on social media. Companies must make products that are attractive or have high visibility and constantly ask the question: ‘What’s going to be the biggest hit on Instagram?’”
|[Interviewing Professor Sungkwon Ha of School of Visual Arts, New York.
Photo Courtesy of Kevin Kim]
However, shifting the focus of advertising from the traditional TV methods to the new mediums such as social media or YouTube is not so simple. According to research by Magna Global, global TV ad sales have decreased at a rate unseen since the Great Recession, falling 4% in 2019 alone. While the shift from television to the current trend seems logical, Professor Ha explained that “this is a problem for brands because digital banner ads, product placement and influencer marketing are poor substitutes for the emotional impact of full-screen, full-motion video as delivered in a traditional TV-based ad, not to mention the scale of reach and frequency once offered by national broadcast networks”. As subscription-based on-demand services such as Netflix and Disney+ are becoming widely used instead of classic cable televisions, marketers are losing opportunities to advertise because these services are advertising-free, except for video trailers. Although the exposure of information and content to the viewers is growing compared to the past, advertising opportunities are not necessarily following the trend. Hence, as Professor Ha mentioned, companies in the marketing industry must adapt their techniques to the short, quick fire nature of advertisements today.
As technology develops more each day, many jobs are being transformed in order to allow them to survive in the market. The marketing industry is not an exception to this, and companies are struggling to move beyond the traditional methods of flyers and television ads towards new trends, such as social media or SVOD (subscription-based on-demand video). Also mentioned by Professor Ha, advertising companies today must adapt to these mediums with fresh ideas and study how the new market will accept the given information. Although the process is difficult, considering the decrease in opportunities caused by this new trend, transformation and adaptation are necessary for survival. Every industry, not only marketing, will have to adapt to future trends to stay afloat in the ever-changing market.
Freshman (Grade 9)
Asia Pacific International School
Rin Choi firstname.lastname@example.org
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