We recently enjoyed listening to Tom Webster present Edison Research’s 22nd iteration of The Infinite Dial, a research report that examines social, digital, and media usage among the US population. As always, there were a few takeaways that made us sit up and take notice, takeaways that you should add to your media mix, media planning, and public relations.
Attention Getter 1: The Connected Wave
Social networks by this point are nothing new, having been around and used for well over a decade. One of the interesting consequences of this phenomenon is what we call the Connected Wave: an entire generation of people 12-24 years old for whom social networks and social media has always been a part of human communication. It should come as no surprise, then, that they have significantly more friends and connections than generations prior to them.
Implications: The Connected Wave is just now entering the workforce and taking their place in society as working adults. Though social media and social networks have already changed how society operates (and especially how public relations and marketing work), it’s fair to say we are still in the early days of what a truly networked, connected society might look like, one in which our default social fabric, the place we go first for connection, is online.
Attention Getter 2: The Connected Wave is Mobile
While it may seem trite and cliche to state that mobile is big, it’s difficult to understate just how big. In the Connected Wave generation, it’s fair to say that mobile is the default, with 78% of the Connected Wave generation owning a smartphone. Mobile isn’t just big. Mobile in the Connected Wave is mandatory.
Implications: Everything that relies on the Connected Wave must think and be mobile first. Hiring and recruiting? You’d better have a mobile-first experience. Sales and marketing? There had better be an app for you.
Attention Getter 3: The Connected Wave is Visual
Why did Facebook offer $3 billion for Snapchat? Why did Facebook buy Instagram? Why is every social network racing to do more with photo and video? The reason should be clearly visible: the Connected Wave is visual.
Implications: If your media mix doesn’t contain images, audio, and video, then it’s simply not going to resonate as well. Moreover, if you’re not publishing images, audio, and video in mobile-friendly, mobile-first environments, you’re not going to reach the Connected Wave.
If the Connected Wave of people in the US 12-24 is important to you or your business, then your watchword (if it isn’t already) in everything you do for PR and marketing must be mobile media.
Christopher S. Penn
Vice President, Marketing Technology
Download and watch the full presentation here: