The value of trust in today’s news environment is more pronounced than in the past with the evolution of new media and digital technology. Trust can soon be lost if we forget the human aspect of media, the Arab Media Form was told.
Speaking on the first day of the Arab Media Forum in Dubai on Wednesday on the value of trust, Tini Sevak, Vice President, Audience and Data, CNN, said trust is fundamentally a strong word and is used as a marketing tool.
“More than anything else, building trust and relationships should not be forgotten. Keeping in mind the human aspect of the media business and the future depends more on engaging and understanding the customers well,” she said.
She advised media houses to understand the audience, understand humans, and make them their consumers by building an emotional connection with the brands they promote.
“We should not forget that people are essentially humans. In the days of digital technology when we talk a lot about artificial intelligence and machine learning, we should not forget that at the end of the day they deal with humans. Understand what they need and make the product relevant,” she said.
Talking about the evolution of media marketing, she said that from the early days of marketing, the role of the media has shifted accordingly. From the 1950s, the focus was on understanding consumers. The subsequent decades saw the birth of market relationships, following which relationship marketing and web and email marketing came into being. In the dotcom era, new marketing tools came into use. Adaptation or transformation is nothing new in our industry.
News consumption patterns have also changed. Today most people are not turning to TV, but to mobile phones due to its high frequency of news breaks.
She cited the example of how CNN emerged in the media market out of the demand for accurate, reliable and trustworthy news. By building respect and relationships, CNN has become a preferred news brand.
Quoting from a recent survey, she said 83 per cent of people frequent social media on a daily basis for news, while 77 per cent frequent news websites or apps and 75 per cent frequent dedicated news channels. More than 45 per cent of international news consumers turn to TV channels for hard news.
The pace of change has increased with data and technology. More than 8 per cent of the population spends over 10 hours a day in consuming media, of which less than 20 minutes is spent on linear television. More than 40 per cent of people spend three hours on mobiles.
She advised media houses to have a deep and rich knowledge of their audience. “Provide your audience with relevant and meaningful content and build credibility and favourability through accuracy and trust.”
“That’s what makes CNN influential as 84 per cent of surveyed people agree that CNN has a unique depth of analysis and content and 83 per cent agree that the news channel is relevant.