Archimedes once said that if you gave him a lever strong enough, he could move the world. Today, that lever is mass communication.
Consider this: when’s the last time you sent a group email? With a few taps of the keyboard and a few clicks, you just did something someone in the 15th century could never imagine: write to multiple people in an instant. In modern business, mass communication and mass media are two key leverage points in the digital age. They require almost no effort—but are capable of producing massive business communication results.
But it’s one thing to say that in a general sense. What about the specific applications of the above discussion? What are the specific examples that show the power of mass media today? Here are the different areas in which effective communication can be the linchpin that creates your business success:
Many people watch television commercials and like to complain: does that ad even work on anyone? You’d be surprised. Public opinion might say that communication tools are largely ineffective at persuasion. But the science says otherwise. Consider these benefits of mass communication:
• Reaching your target audience. They might sound like opposing ideas. Mass communication? Target audience? But statistics show small businesses earn $3 on average for every $1.60 spent on Google Ads. The digital age has made mass communication that much more precise—and effective.
• Building large company cultures. It’s not just your marketing strategy that can use a boost from mass communication. Large organizations can benefit from mass communications, using text, email, and chat to create a sense of shared culture at a business.
• Generating buzz. Promoting a new product through new media? You’d be amazed at the kind of buzz you can generate. The newer the medium, the better. Consider that today’s mobile ads get attention over 80% of the time.
Modern mass communication theory still applies: you stand a good chance of success if you can get your business out to as many eyeballs as possible. But this is also the 21st century. We’ve seen the digital revolution. These days, mass communication also applies to email, text messages, and social media—each of which demonstrates incredible rates of success and ROI.
It’s one thing to acknowledge that media content may have some influence over your customers. But have you ever stopped to consider the specific uses of different types of communication? Business owners would do well to remember every advantage of applying media economies of scale to a large audience:
• Product launches: When Pizza Hut wanted to introduce its new “Stuffed Crust” pizza, they knew they’d have to make a splash. They went out and hired ex-Beatle Ringo Starr, a familiar face, to hype up the unfamiliar way of eating pizza: started crust-first. It created a successful product launch with a pizza option that remains on the menu to this day.
• Sales: Ever put two pieces of gum in your mouth instead of one? You may have responded to mass communication—or at least its effects. Legend has it that sales doubled once advertisers started showing people putting two sticks of gum in their mouths. It indeed showed the role of mass media in cultural dissemination: advertisements can change the conversation.
• Trust building: Using public relations as a lever for mass communication is a great way to “borrow” trust from a respected news source. If your product is featured in a trustworthy newspaper or magazine, you’ll share in instant credibility.
• Brand Building: These days, the modern shopper is used to having a more personal connection to a brand. They might have exchanged tweets with them, responded to a text, or reached out via email. Today’s mass communication offerings make it possible to forge what feels like personal relationships with customers, building a brand on a one-on-one level while leveraging the advantages of mass communication.
• Regular News: There are two potential avenues here. Getting your brand seen on the regular news is always a boost in credibility and mass appeal. But if your brand also gives standard, on-point information to customers that they need, you can build a personal connection that feels valuable to them. There’s a reason so many people sign up to receive updates from their favorite brands. They want to know the latest product launches, the latest discounts, and the latest offerings. Give people a reason to connect with your brand—leveraging the power of mass communication.
It wasn’t long ago that people were leveraging mass media in the form of radio stations. Mass communication back then was more like a megaphone: you could blast out one message to a broad audience, sure, but there was no way to achieve one-on-one communication.
Modern mass communication has changed all that. Nowadays, it’s possible to reach out to a mass audience, sure. You can still send out a text or email blast that goes out to every customer you can reach.
But you can also tailor your approach. For example, you can create customer segments that let you send out notifications only to a select few. You can create “VIP lists” of your most brand-loyal customers and keep them in the loop for special offers. You can use top-of-the-funnel SMS texting strategies to earn subscribers. Eventually, you can turn those subscribers into customers.
Long story short: mass communication has become the most precise it’s ever been. We’ve come a long way from the printing press. In some ways, it’s like we’ve come full circle. When communication used to be one-on-one and then evolved to mass communication, we’ve also taken mass communication back to the one-on-one level.