Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Average media usage drops; experts see shifts to targeted marketing

As reported by Ad Age, for the first time in a decade, US consumers spent less time using media compared to the previous year. However, even in light of that we still consume a ton of the stuff -- about 3,530 hours/year (or about 9.6 hours/day) on average. One of the trends that might have caused the decline has been consumers' choice for "faster" media like the Internet over slower ones like newspapers and magazines. I can scan the Wall Street Journal, CNN.com and the BBC, read several relevant articles, and move on to my next task in far less time than reading a single section of the WSJ's print edition. Consequently, even though I might be exposed to the same amount of information (or at least the information that's important to me), I can get at it faster than before. Hence, an overall decline in the amount of time consuming these media.

As a consequence of this, non-targeted ads are losing ground as marketers strive to be as timely and relevant to their audience as possible.
"In the overall advertising area, dollars are moving from advertising to targeted media," Jim Rutherford, EVP and Managing Director, Veronis Suhler Stevenson (a private investment firm) said. "They're not willing to pay for broadcast TV advertising. Dollars have
come into the targeted media, and the dollars shrink because the
targeted media is more efficient." Consequently, VSS foresees a significant shift in ad spending, with online being the biggest winner (it's expected to reach $62 in the next 5 years, surpassing newspapers).

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Anonymous said...

On the Internet, ad companies know from my browser history what kind of sites I visit, and what product pages I look at. So the ads that they serve are highly targeted at my exact profile.

How can digital signage ever compete with that level of customer knowledge? Or is there no need to compete because the mediums are so different?

Bill Gerba said...

Short of some kind of (currently exotic/expensive/nonfunctional) technology that would allow for accurate, nonintrusive facial or biometric identification, digital signage can't really offer the same kind of user-level specificity.

However, what digital signs can provide is time- and place-specific information in environments where people are already primed to look at products, compare them, and ultimately buy them.

Context is still very important when it comes to a customer's reaction to advertising, and there's no better context for a product ad than being in the place where the product is actually sold.