Digital media for governments

Reaching audiences in an age of fragmentation and austerity

In this article

We take a brief look at the evolution of media and what it means for governments. We then look at one of the most important recent developments in digital media – audience buying – and how governments can use it to reach and target audiences.


Digital media has fragmented audiences exponentially. Rather than watching a handful of TV channels or reading a limited selection of magazines, citizens today have almost infinite media options: hundreds of cable and satellite channels, millions of YouTube videos, social media, Video-On-Demand, personalised music streaming services and more.

With people spread so thinly across media channels, the reach of individual units of advertising has plummeted. This is a particular challenge for governments, who often need to reach mass audiences. This article considers two key questions for government communicators in the digital age:

  • How can governments reach mass audiences in a fragmenting media landscape?
  • In an age of austerity, how can governments reach audiences more efficiently and effectively?

Luckily, digital media is both the challenge and the solution. By harnessing data and technology, digital media enables governments to reach the right audiences, at the right time, with the right messages, in the right channels – for less taxpayers’ money than traditional media.

About the author

As Chief Digital Officer of GroupM Global, Rob oversees the activities of the world’s largest buyer of online media with close to $10 billion in billings. In this role, he develops the digital capabilities within GroupM while establishing thought leadership positioning in the digital space and contributing to each agency’s business development.

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