Sunday, November 9, 2008


It's been the buzz word of the 2008 Election.

It started a couple years ago with the beginning of the Presidential campaign and made its way down to the state level, here in Indiana where our Governor won by a huge margin (as a Republican).

His re-election campaign focused on pointing out the changes he implemented the past 4 years.

What about your advertising and marketing?

What has changed and what has stayed the same?

What will you change in 2009 and what will remain?

To help you out, here's a brief look at media, advertising and consumer habits:

  • Traditional Media will still gather the masses. (Television, Radio, Billboards, and Print)
  • The Internet is a form of mass media, except it's like having a television with 10 thousand channels, so it needs to partner with traditional mass media to promote an individual website.
  • Some forms of Traditional Media, like some forms of Internet media will not survive due to their business model and the fact that they need to earn money to stay alive. (For more on this concept, click here and read this.)
Now instead of rewriting what I wrote a few months ago, I'll reprint it here since it is just as relevant as it was 9 months ago:

Predictions for Future Advertising Options

  1. Daily Newspapers have seen a steep decline over the past 10 years and staffing cuts will continue in the newsrooms as they adjust financially to a loss of subscribers to their print editions. Communities that had two papers will be lucky to have one. The smart ones are looking for alternative sources of revenue.
  2. Specialty Newspapers, such as the free shoppers guides, or weekly news alternatives won't be hit as hard as their big brothers, since they already have smaller staffs and their readers are looking for information that the advertisements provide.
  3. Magazines. Depends on their overhead and structure of their publication. The strong specialty magazines can survive, but look for the news magazines such as Time, Newsweek, and the like to be propped up by their parent companies, and then reduced or eliminated within 20 years. Specialty Mags have a chance to survive, if they are loyal to their readers.
  4. Radio stations that offer unique programming that includes local content will survive even though the competition for listeners will continue to heat up when internet accessibility is available in the vehicles we drive. This is why it is so important that stations have what is known as "on-line streaming" via their websites NOW, to train listeners to listen over the internet. Those that don't offer local content and internet listenability, will fail.
  5. Television. The broadcast outlets are in the midst of a government imposed transformation as the deadline to switch to digital broadcasting is less than a year away. The writers strike lead to innovative programming from the networks and viewers also looked to other forms of entertainment from other sources.
  6. Yellow Pages. I'd be surprised if they are around in 5 years in this country. Most of the businesses I've talked to over the years complain that they "have to" be in the book. Now, the Yellow Pages are being replaced by Google and other local search engines. I would never recommend a new business advertise in the Yellow Pages, and those that still do, start reducing and phasing out your YP advertising and move the money to where the people are looking for you.
And that is the key to all of this. You need to re-think:
  1. Where are my customers?
  2. What advertising mediums reach my customers and potential customers now?
  3. What can I do to be there when they are looking for me?
What about the future? There is one Advertising Option that I did not mention in the list above:
  1. Outdoor Billboards. Yep. This is one form of advertising that is not being replaced by the internet. But you have to understand what the pro's and con's of a Billboard campaign are.
And then there is the one form of advertising that it seems everyone is talking about, The Internet. We are still learning how to use the Internet to effectively reach customers, and it will be a trial and error process as technology improves.

Spam email is not the way to use the internet for advertising. But just because you have a website, that's not enough. You also need to direct people to your place on the web. And that's where all the traditional media can help.

I mentioned smart newspaper publishers are looking for alternatives to generate revenue. So are smart broadcast outlets, smart magazines, etc. They have websites that you can advertise on to drive your potential customers to you and your website.

Despite these predictions many of the traditional advertising options can still work for you today and some may work for the rest of your life, but the next 10 years will be nothing like the previous 50 years. Keep your eyes and ears open!

Time to put away my crystal ball. Your comments are always welcome.

1 comment:

  1. Yes, that is very true what you had said in regard to the Yellow Pages in print books, but the Internet Yellow pages is growing every year, up to 3.9 million views as of 2007. The IYP are close to 20% of total searches on the internet, and local SMB will surly advertise their listing with their local IYP.