Back to the New Media Future1 Oct, 2008 By: Response Contributor Response
From branders' discovery of DRTV to digital domination, taking a glance back at the media landscape will help those gearing up for 2009.
Audience fragmentation, a byproduct of new media advertising outlets, makes it increasingly complicated to target an audience. "Not that long ago, you could buy three networks per market and a few large cables and cover 80 percent of your targeted audience," says Hawthorne. "Now, you have six networks and dozens of cable networks, all with their own niche audience. With continued expansion of cable venues and the migration of TV viewers to alternative media, our media plans and back-end strategies must follow the consumer in order to continue to create profitable campaigns."
Other "new media" avenues garnering significant industry buzz include viral media, such as video clips hosted on YouTube, as well as mobile strategies, which become increasingly important as the telecom industry increases Web-to-phone offerings.
"We believe that SMS and CSC (common short codes) will soon be widely used by DRTV marketers," Hawthorne contends. "Since TV viewers often have their cell phones on their chair-side table while watching TV, these short codes are convenient ways to respond to DRTV offers. We're encouraging our clients to secure short codes for all their products, and we'll be seeing short codes showing up more in DRTV commercial tag pages along with 800 numbers and URLs."
Ironically, the U.S. is lagging in mobile development. "Latin American countries have traditionally had strong penetration of mobile phones, because landlines were more expensive and harder to get," says Stan Bruckheim, president of Latino Media Services and a member of the Response Editorial Advisory Board. "So, one of the technologies expanding rapidly is mobile marketing and SMS; some DR businesses see mobile marketing as an opportunity for expansion and others a competitor for media airtime. Web-based technologies are growing, but at a rate three-to-five years behind the U.S., Europe and Asia."
"We see the DR consumer evolving as technology evolves, and we are expanding to include both older and younger demos as technology allows," says Hawthorne. "Consumers are becoming more accustomed to using and navigating automated systems. More response is being generated through online marketing efforts across the board, and response to online offers by older consumers is increasing from what it was five years ago."
As consumers flock to the Web, the slump in print media continues — the Audit Bureau of Circulations reported a 2.4 percent average drop in paid circulation among the nation's top 25 newspapers last year. Both publishers and advertisers are seeking better revenue opportunities online.
"There isn't a medium that captures user engagement, interactivity and time spent with a brand like online does," says Jennifer Prince, senior vice president of sales, Demand Media, a vertical media network with more than 60 online properties. "Marketing dollars will continue to shift towards online media, and away from broadcast and print for exactly these reasons."
Cracked.com is a great example of Demand's ability to leverage the opportunities of the current online landscape. The Cracked brand has been around since 1958, when it began as a magazine geared mostly to adolescent boys. Demand acquired the property in 2007, which included a bare-bones Web site and a recently defunct print arm. The company applied its social media strategy and turned it into a site with more than 30 million monthly page views by July, according to Comscore. Prince sells ad space on this site and more than 60 other media properties including GolfLink.com, Mania.com and eHow.com.
"Demand Media's passionate environments deliver targeted audiences and content to brands that they can't find in mass-reaching, broad sites," says Prince. "There's something to say about a brand marketer choosing a Web site to promote a new product, for example, to the exact audience they are targeting. It's surrounded by content that is relevant and that users are self-selecting to engage with, and with unique integration into the environment that goes well beyond standard media placements."