Marion Marxer, MBA Thesis, September 2006
The Digital Impact on Society and Media
New Opportunities for Marketing & Communication
Digitalization spreads quickly and impacts our whole lifestyle. Digital technology and media are already an
indispensable part of our everyday life and will play an increasingly important role in our private and
Society adapts very quickly to new technology and uses them to their favor. Consumers of the digital age are
on one hand self-confident, self-determining, self-focused, on the other hand they love to share, exchange,
play and build social networks. The digital lifestyle allows them to merge these – at first sight contra-
dictionary – characteristics and affectations. The encounters and relationships in the Internet perfectly match
their desire to distinguish themselves, to hook up with new people, to share experiences and knowledge in
common fields of interests with their aspiration for self-control and –determination. The intensity and duration
of the relationship is up to each of the engaged and can be changed or ended at any time without
consequences or need for explanations. That’s exactly what the new digitally enhanced consumer is looking
for: encounters and relationships that are interesting and diverting, but without responsibility or vow. The
digital anonymity-enabling interface is the perfect “non-commitment” guardian of billions of social contacts
The media landscape is transforming into a stock exchange. That is, for users who offer (create) and bid for
(search, navigate, share, enjoy) content. And a stock exchange for advertisers, who bid against one another
to have their sponsored links placed in front of these users. Exchange becomes necessary because people
need help navigating around this huge continuum of content.
The media landscape is transforming into a stock exchange.
The empowered and professionalized consumer iin a competitive demand driven marketplace therefore has
to be treated like a business partner. Brands and consumers are on the same levell. They conclude deals
that both sides take profit in while treating each other fairly.
New consumer playgrounds pop up on the Internet in the form of virtual realities and exchange platforms for
personal opinions, interests and memories. Real people’s lives get digitalized and shared though the Internet.
People let others take part in their most personal thoughts and experiences, and live parallel lives in virtual
reality. They create their own content and spaces to share with peers.
Virtual realities and digital contents are consumed more and more throughout the whole day and on the go.
With the private and individual consumption of digital contents in the midst of other people in the street, in
public transport as well as in front of the computer at home or at work during the lunch break, people create
their own “private world”.
Within the new playgrounds consumers can not only create their own world, but many different worlds in
which to live and navigate between. Even though these playgrounds and worlds overlap through the
convergence of technologies, media and content; each one is expected to cover very specific aspects of
Consumers know exactly what they want to get there, and when and how they want it:
In the virtual world, consumers aspire to explore their Youniverse and probe all facets of it. In the virtual
playgrounds, they want to interact, exchange, try out, discover and experiment. It’s all about the experience
of their own personality (through different identities), of relationships with others (through different stories and
situations) and of life as a whole (through different environments and set ups).
In the mobile world, consumers intend to connect with their peers as well as with information, services and
entertainment. Mobile playgrounds should enhance their time while commuting that provide them with
advantages and improve their quality of life in general.
In the home world (at home), deliberately disconnected from the outside, consumers aim at enjoyment, while
consuming selected entertainment and information. Even though, in these playgrounds, they do not engage
as in the previously mentioned, they are very demanding: they are not satisfied with just any program, but
only the one that fits their current interests and momentary moods best.
Marketers are limping behind: they have new toys, but don’t know how to play with them. Some
playgrounds they are just discovering and do not know what toys to apply or simply haven’t developed them
yet. The following graph visualizes the different consumer worlds and summarizes the just mentioned
Graph 1: Consumers’ worlds
Marketers haven’t adjusted their game to the mindset of the new, digitally experienced, enhanced and
1. In the virtual world they focus on generating clicks, instead of engaging consumers
and enabling experiences.
2. In the mobile world, they try to generate response rates, instead of enabling
connections and delivering services.
3. In the living rooms, in the private world, they strive for reaching the mass market,
instead of providing selective entertainment and information.
3. Key Issues
The whole marketing and communication industry has to completely change the way of thinking and acting,
and new ways and forms of marketing and communication have to be developed in order to cope with a
much more complex, fragmented and individualized environment.
Brands and marketers have to become more responsive to the individual consumer and not to a target
group as a whole. And, marketing and communication strategies have to evolve with the digital lifestyle of the
consumer. The key words are: Integration (virtual and real), Engagement (brand and consumer), Experience
(stationary and mobile).
The Key Issues:
1. Become part of the virtual Youniverse
2. Invade private content consumption
3. Entertain, involve and engage consumers
4. Create cross-world and –media experiences
The key issues derived from the analysis of the situation reveal what really matters and what marketers
should aim at in order to successfully work in the digital market. The awareness of these key issues allows
choosing the right strategic options and approaching the new market from the right angle thus seizing the
opportunities concerning the role and position of brands vis-à-vis consumers in the digital market place:
The following is an evaluation of the activities that could be taken to pursue one of the three digital brand
strategies with the highest success potential in the new market environment. The ratings just give a general
indication of the different directions. The variables depend strongly on the idea, objective, concept and
situation of the specific marketing/communication approach and would need to be evaluated for each
Positionings Opportunities Impact Uniqueness Sustaina-bility Risk Cost
Virtual Reality Brand Being Places 4 6 6 5 2 1 24
Enhancer Access sponsorship 6 3 3 3 6 3 24
Virtual product launches 5 5 5 5 3 2 25
Virtual Service Launches 5 5 5 5 3 2 25
Brand Placement 3 4 3 3 5 3 21
Product Placement 5 5 4 3 5 3 25
In-Game Advertising 3 4 3 3 5 2 20
Advergaming 5 6 6 3 2 2 24
Blogger Relations 5 3 3 5 3 6 25
Social Networking Facil. 5 3 3 4 5 3 23
Experience Online Content Spons. 6 3 3 4 5 4 25
Provider Mobile Content Spons. 6 3 3 4 5 3 24
Mobile Brand Movies 4 4 4 3 2 2 19
Mobile Brand Games 5 5 5 3 2 2 22
Online Promotons 5 5 5 3 3 2 23
Digital TV Sponsors. 4 3 3 4 5 3 22
Video Ads (TV, M, I) 3 3 3 3 5 4 21
Engagement Youniversal Concept 5 5 6 5 2 1 24
Trigger RFID Promotions 4 4 5 3 3 2 21
Digital Promotions 4 4 4 3 4 3 22
Co-Creation 6 5 5 4 3 3 26
5. Key Success Factors
For any of the identified digital strategies to be effective and for each approach under the strategies to be
successful, cross-media integration is essential. Following are the key success factors in this context:
1. Definition of the role of the different media in the customer life cycle
2. Design of a communication architecture that defines the linking of
the communication means
TV Print OOH
POS Online Platform
Infos & Statistics &
in Competition Analysis
DM Info Prep Data for
Winner Online-Game Red/Crea
eMail Internal External
Participants PR PR
3. Development of messages and hooks for each communication mean
taking into consideration the consumer journey
Contact: Marion Marxer, firstname.lastname@example.org, +41 79 213 06 53