Changing Times Call for Changes in Advertising

29 Jan

We live in a society that sees new innovations and ideas every day. We used to live in a time when color television was the most breakthrough technology available. Now we can watch T.V. on demand through cable or Netflix and Hulu. The concept of streaming content was once thought of as impossible. We still see some of the same types of reservations in how advertising spending is broken down; specifically in terms of unmeasured media. How can we continue to let something that makes up 40 percent of all advertising spending remain ‘unmeasured media’? Ignoring something that makes up that much of all advertising spending (and is still growing) is asking to be left in the dust.

Newspapers have seen this first and foremost. They have faced a strong decline in readership, and combine that with their decision to continue basing their revenue structure on print-based ads helped lead to their downfall. They saw a 3.8 percent drop in advertising spending since last year, but their struggle there dates back to their failure to adapt and take advantage of new advertising methods – the ‘unmeasured media spending: sponsored search results, Facebook and Twitter advertising, etc. – early enough. Newspapers continued to rely on the right people (targeted consumers) being in the right place (seeing the ad targeting them) at the right time (when they need that particular good or service).

That is why the New Orleans Times-Picayune went under, along with countless others, and are now replaced by online-only papers that are constantly updated. Those online-only papers take full advantage of the ‘unmeasured media’ types of advertising and branding. The online-only editions are not going anywhere anytime soon.

Television could soon see the same issues. For T.V. ads to be effective they, too, need their targeted consumers to be in the right place (watching T.V.) at the right time (when the ad airs). More and more we are seeing people multi-task – 77 percent of the time a consumer is using their computer, smartphone or tablet while the T.V. is on in. We also are seeing an increasing desire for instant entertainment or satisfaction. If someone wants to watch an episode of Mad Men, odds are they would pull it up on Netflix or Hulu – and the local networks that pay to air it during open time don’t get any kickbacks from someone watching programs online.

So if more people are not truly watching T.V., how can you expect the traditional 30 second commercial spots to be effective for much longer? How much longer, and how much larger do you need ‘unmeasured media’ to grow, before we start to make changes? Do we need to wait until T.V. goes the route of the newspaper? I hope not.

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