By Noor Naseer Jul 2 2012 Blog

The Disconnect Between Media Placements and Media Spend

On a recent business trip, I thought about all the current advertising mediums across the industry, and how many media professionals who hold ad budgets are in a state of media confusion. While awaiting my flight, I completed a very informal survey. I counted 93 individuals who were awaiting their plane, only two had newspapers and another five people were just sitting there.

Now get this, 85 people were playing, using, or surfing on smart phones and/or tablets. Ten years ago, the affluent market would focus on the task of picking up a newspaper or magazine before a trip. Three years ago, it was ensuring a mobile device was charged before a trip.  Today, it’s making sure that online content has been downloaded for viewing in offline mode. Connectivity is just as important as electricity today and only the brave will try to predict and embrace what is important in the next three years.

Along with this observation, I came across another relevant and eye-opening experience focused on the lack of adoption or simply the lack of acceptance of shifting media usage. Anyone can tell you that newspaper circulation is down, and traditional broadcast spending is down. However, it’s the status quo that marketers keep going back to due to misalignment with consumer behavior. They seem to be pairing what they previously knew against what they currently do.

For example, I recently met with a regional marketer who told me that he was fortunate to work for a brand, in which he represented its core target audience. He also described how his spend was best used on TV and newspaper to target his “core” audience. Meanwhile, he was “ironically” showing me his video advertisements on his iPad. Even more mind-blowing, he showed me what his competition was executing, which was display and pre-roll video units on premium content sites. This was a monumental disconnect. This marketer was proving there was a need for digital budget allocation as he was relying on digital media in front of my eyes.

While there are marketers who are still deeply rooted in traditional marketing, others are already executing digital media, and it is great to see their growth. However, many of these experienced digital marketers are challenged with executing campaigns that take digital media to the next level. Digital can be a lot of things to many different marketers. However, one thing proves true. Technology is shifting media usage and it’s becoming more and more difficult to execute paid ad campaigns across these opportunities. Marketers need to step out of their comfort zone and not be timid of the new. The 1974 Time magazine advertisement was static. Display ad units across premium content are simply those same ads with interactive functionality. The 1989 Sony Walkman is now an iPod.  The 1994 Pioneer stereo receiver deck is now an iPad or tablet using Spotify or Pandora.  The awesome Plasma screen TV from 2003 is now a 3D interactive experience where many children today might not even know ABC, NBC, or FOX broadcast companies.  They do know URLs or HULU, YouTube, and Vimeo.  Wires are gone, and these antiquated technologies are simply shifting into other forms.  Yet many marketers are too wrapped up in trying to grasp the big picture instead of stepping back to realize its still radio.  It’s still video.  It’s still display.  The same content from a different technology platform.

Partnering with a logistics platform to scale and increase execution in digital is crucial and it will only be more important in the months to come. It’s okay to continue talking walks, but at least swing the bat.  Get your message on the right technologies, to connect (not target) with your consumers.  Trust me, your competition already is…