Xiaowei Wang brings New Media Insight to NYC
Xiaowei Wang, a Digital Media Analyst at CoxReps, has been dealing with all sorts of tools and technologies since she finished her Masters degree at SU’s Newhouse School. As a student in the New Media Management program, she learned about cutting-edge technologies and big data, but what has made her successful since her move to New York is a single-minded focus on the people.
“At the end of the day, it’s the people consuming media that matter most. The rest is just tools to help you communicate” says Wang.
When it comes to media, people in general believe that it’s all about technology now. Some argue that targeting mass communication remains the first thing to consider when doing marketing; however, Wang sees it differently. Media is an ever-evolving industry; from traditional media like television to what we now call New Media. Changes happen in the blink of an eye, but people are constant.
What is “New Media”?
According to Stephen Masiclat, director of the New Media Management program at Syracuse University, “New media is digitally optimized—it’s media that transmits over any channel, is consumed on any digital platform, and includes every possible data type.”
That super flexibility can be challenging to students who study new media communications. Faced with many different technologies and software tools, students might think understanding new media is all about technology. But according to Wang, that’s a mistake.
People first, Technology second
Wang has become expert at studying people, using data to get insights into customers’ behavior for her clients, and she recently shared her experience with a new class of grad students from New Media Management.
Wang gave a talk about emerging trends in the media industry in a weeklong annual seminar held in Fisher Center (Syracuse University’s New York City location). Her talk focused on the way big data analytics measures are making their way to traditional and legacy media.
“Just a few years ago we were still talking about GRP (gross rating points), which is a measure of how many people tune in to a tv channel at one time, but now we are all looking at CPM (cost per thousand impressions)” says Wang.
“For digital marketing and advertising, to better target your audience, differentiate yourself from competitors and be positioned to take advantage of the next move in the media business, one should extremely customer focused.” Wang has learned to sift through the available information and do in-depth analysis, but what she’s always looking for is human insight.
“Being an analyst is not just about looking at the data —that’s boring! It’s about translating data into insightful information and using it to come up with a feasible and effective strategy that will achieve your client’s goals.”
In media, that goal is first and foremost, commerce.
“It’s all about sales.” Wang says. “In the industry, we can divide the process into three steps: before sales, during sales and after sales. What matters the most is the things we do before sales. Before sales it’s nothing but hard fact and insights. If you can grab that information and analyze it to create a strong marketing strategy, you can beat your competitors.”
Consumer Insight is Everything
There are now many tools that you can use to examine the performance of your digital advertising. Yet as Wang says, “Tie everything back to consumer no matter how many tech tools you know.” Tools provide you with facts; the most important thing is knowing how to make decisions based on your insight.
Wang has a clear sense that the digital economy is going to continue changing and evolving new capabilities. And the relentless pace of change suits her just fine. She’s come to love the hustle of the new media business, and she remembers something she used to hear a lot in Syracuse; it’s always changing, it’s always new media. Wang has put her own spin on this, and it’s typical of this hyperactive and hyper competitive SU grad.
“What is now is nothing anymore, what is next is the most important!” Wang says. “There’s no room for you in the industry if you can’t keep up.”
With an eye towards the future, CNY-educated Wang will always be open to new things and be willing to learn.