Finweek English Edition - - Property Compass - POLOKO MO­FO­KENG

SYN­ERGY, REL­E­VANCE AND strong strat­egy are key to ward­ing off the threat on­line poses to print and broad­cast. Google SA CEO Stafford Masie doesn’t mince his words: “There’s fun­da­men­tal change and I’d panic if I was in print or broad­cast.”

Nev­er­the­less, Masie says in­te­grated me­dia strate­gies are the way to go de­spite on­line be­ing the un­de­ni­able fu­ture king. “The dif­fer­ent me­dia should cross pol­li­nate – it’s not just a case of one eat­ing into the other.” How­ever, the bulk of the bud­get should be spent on­line.

Masie was a mem­ber of a panel dis­cussing the cri­sis in me­dia at Tony Koenderman’s fourth an­nual Brain­storm con­fer­ence. Jupiter Draw­ing Room chair­man Gra­ham War­sop re­it­er­ated the need for an en­com­pass­ing strat­egy but added on­line works bet­ter for es­tab­lished brands. “The test is al­ways in the rel­e­vance and once that’s ac­com­plished, dig­i­tal will come into its own.”

Al­though War­sop also pre­sented a strong move to­wards on­line, he was more op­ti­mistic about the fu­ture of print and broad­cast.

How­ever, Masie says there’s re­sis­tance from clients who “don’t grasp the mas­sive op­por­tu­ni­ties, such as mar­ket­ing to an in­ter­na­tional mar­ket”. War­sop says client ed­u­ca­tion is core to suc­cess­ful dig­i­tal strat­egy. Masie agrees, say­ing Google has fo­cused on en­sur­ing clients un­der­stand prod­ucts rather than on gen­er­at­ing busi­ness. Adding that their phi­los­o­phy has been en­sur­ing a few clients are sat­is­fied rather than aim­ing for a large client base from the on­set. Those sat­is­fied clients, he says, would lead to re­fer­rals grow­ing the client base.

Clients aren’t the only chal­lenge, as the lack of broad­band was de­scribed by War­sop as “un­for­tu­nate, since we take up tech­nol­ogy so fast”. With broad­band head­ing this way, War­sop fore­sees South African cre­atives be­ing com­pet­i­tive in in­ter­na­tional cy­ber cat­e­gories in 18 months to two years.

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