Creative Communications in the Digital Era

18 March, 2021

Perhaps digitization has not disrupted any other industry as the media and marketing industry. It has removed the barriers and changed the game altogether in a domain which used to be the fiefdom of a few (big corporate players in each geographic territory, with limited scope for startups and smaller players. Today, anyone having a creative bent of mind, a computing/communication devise and an internet connection can start a media company, targeting audiences across geographic boundaries and time zones. And, the viewer/reader/consumer is part of the news making/content creation process. With this paradigm shift, today, we live in the age of democratized media and marketing. The opportunities and the challenges are entirely different here. Let's discuss.

Ease of Entry
As mentioned in the opening lines, the entry barriers to this industry are nil/negligible these days. Technology has ensured that practically anyone can start out and leverage his/her Creative Communications talent. When it comes to skilling, a lot of help is available online - free of cost. And, the aura of formality and the boring seriousness about content is long gone. So, perhaps it's the most favorable time for anyone who has a way with words or visuals or audio or multimedia. Seth Godin sums it up in the best possible manner - "Content marketing is all the Marketing that's left."

Co-creation of Content
Gone are the days when editors, accredited journalists and communication professionals had monopoly over content creation. With the advent of social media, the new paradigm of user generated content has dawned too. Content creation is a participatory process now. Needless to say this is increasing the responsibility of the media owners. With the explosive growth of social media channels to the point of making them large and powerful enough to influence the course of polity in countries, there are calls to treat the owners of popular channels as editors and hold them responsible for what is published on their channels - by themselves and by users.

Overcoming the time and geography barriers
The digital age has helped communications to be delivered across time and geographic zones at the blink of an eye. It has also facilitated the collaboration of talents across such barriers, resulting in brilliant pieces of communications that provide more bang for the buck for the brand.

Amalgamation of art and technology
Technology innovations are enabling the creation of faster and fun and more engaging content. No doubts about it. However, is it better? Not always. As we now have many-to-many communications taking place in the digital/social media domain, communications get distorted through technology with disastrous results for the original communicator, at times. The arrival of augmented reality and virtual reality has added new dimensions to this issue. Therefore, it becomes imperative for communicators to keep abreast of the nuances of the technology and tools as well as strategize well to achieve the goals.

The Artificial Intelligence (AI) Impact
Some pundits are now talking about the next phase of disruption in the Creative Communications area to be ushered in by Al, further worsening the uneasy relationship between art and technology. However, another set of them believes that Al is going to help communicators to do a better job. The jury is still out on this.

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