Media Richness Theory versus Media Synchronization Theory

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Media Richness Theory versus Media Synchronization Theory
Omenugha Nelson Obinna, Student (MBA), United Kingdom

Direct Marketing has really come to stay as one of the most utilized forms of marketing. It is traditionally a form of face-to-face marketing which 'has long been known to be the most effective form of communication. It still has its place in non-profit and private business' (D’Ambrosio 2012, p. 1). Basically, direct marketing talks directly to a person and does not speak to a 'nameless' crowd; its message has an identified and a definite personal target for whom the message has been specifically framed. Direct Marketing has been interrogated from different perspectives by scholars and industry players.
  1. MEDIA RICHNESS THEORY: From the point of view of Media richness theory, face-to-face marketing is the richest communication medium because of the ability to generate immediacy, convey several cues, apply language variation and personal focus of the medium. Next in order of richness are video communication and telephone. The poorest media according to this theory are mass e-mails and mass media (Miles, 2012).
  2. MEDIA SYNCHRONIZATION THEORY/PRO-ADDRESSABLE MEDIA: However, ’addressable media’ has emerged from further research into the claims of the media richness theory; ultimately giving birth to Media Synchronization Theory (MST). MST is about pro-addressable media. It argues that the strengths projected by face-to-face communication can be adapted to the new information technologies to make this medium as rich as face-to-face marketing.
Remarkably, Media Richness and Media Synchronization have expanded the understanding of Direct Marketing from face-to-face marketing to also include other forms that 'addressable media' covers.
1. D'Ambrosio, J. (2012), 'The value of interpersonal communication in a digital workplace' [Online] (Accessed: 5 November, 2015).
2. Miles, J.A. (2012) Management and Organization Theory: A Jossey-Bass Reader, San Francisco, Wiley.



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