Saturday, 1 December 2012

Do you think that Advertising is Dead?


However it sure seems that way, at least in my life as a consumer. I rarely click on a Web page banner, I assiduously avoid ads in most consumer publications. I most certainly do other things during the TV commercial break.

Newspapers, magazines and television are also facing the assault from technology.

The gist of all this is simple, persuasive and unavoidable. Interactivity, the hallmark of computing technology, fundamentally calls into question the viability of a model based on being able to force people to watch, listen, and read, advertising.

The real problem I think is that our entire system for valuing advertising is completely wrong. In almost every major medium the basic measurement for value is the cost per thousand as measured by an acceptable accounting company.

Maybe that is because it is virtually impossible to generate any interest for payment by results, because there is no clear way to make such measurements i.e. establishing any sales increase is as a result, exclusively, of advertising.

The supposedly reliable benchmarks of "Old Media" were actually just mutually agreed upon illusions. No one really expected that by paying £35 for each thousand viewers/readers that it would actually get all those people to read/view its ad.

So perhaps, after all advertising isn’t dead, but the way we measure its true value is going to be radically different in the future.

Additionally many people in the industry think that the net effect of all the changes occurring is that "it will be all to easy to avoid advertising". But because TV is such a powerful medium, we will find ways to cut through, to persuade people that it’s worth seeing the commercials, maybe even paying them to do so!

Some people within the industry think that the customer (which after all is king/queen) is heartily sick of having completely non-interactive ads shoved down their throats.

However in the digital age content will still be king and competition for major programming rights are bound to escalate.

Additionally digital TV is bound to affect viewing figures, and therefor advertising communication (one-way communication?) is the big question. There are certain incontrovertible facts: viewing will fragment, and it will become more expensive to reach mass audiences.

As a result of all this, inevitably the quality of programming on certain channels will decline, but viewers will simply vote with their remote controls.

There appear to be certain advantages to interactivity, other than the obvious of enhancing the communication process, for a number of Clients interactive TV offers an opportunity to break the strangle hold of the major retailers. The feeling is among several of them: "We have a range of goods and shopping opportunities, and want to appeal over the heads of the retailers who are wedded to everyday low prices."

Obviously your customers will continue to buy chewing gum or socks, for example, as an impulse purchase however when it comes to high ticket consumer durables they will buy when they have properly processed the information they need, and that is when interactive communication will really come into its own.

Because Interactive Communication, properly executed, will add tangible value for the reader/viewer/advertiser!

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