Apr 17

Why Old Media IS NOT in the Grave

Yesterday I went to an Austin Social Media Club meeting entitled “Old Media Rises from the Grave”. While I must admit that the vast expense of print and TV production will inevitably push them to a web-based platform, this hasn’t happened yet. TV still pummels online content in terms of sheer influence. Don’t believe me? Here are stats:

1.) Often it feels like online time eats into our TV time. Not so. According to a Nielsen Research report, online consumption AND TV time have gone up. From Q3’07 to Q3’08, TV consumption went up 4.1% for TV and internet consumption went up 5.7%. Only among internet early adopters did TV consumption go down. At what expense? As sad as this is, it is at the expense of our families and our waistlines.

2.) In a McPheters and Company study, eye tracking studies showed that 63% of internet ads weren’t even seen by respondents. Magazines had ad recall almost three times that of Internet banner ads. To top it off, net recall of TV ads was almost twice that of magazine ads. So basically, although they are cheaper, internet ads are just about entirely forgotten by the majority of people.

3.) In terms of sheer volume, old media has new media beat. If I advertise on one episode of American Idol, my ad has the potential of going out to over 24,000,000 people. That’s 24 MILLION active viewers, and the chances of them actually retaining the benefits of my product are much higher. Consider shameless product placement like Ford and Coca-Cola, and the net exposure is even bigger.

If I ask Ashton Kutcher to plug my product in his million person Twitter feed, 1.) I’d probably have to pay him and 2.) those are subscribers, not active viewers. So I wouldn’t have to pay as much, but I wouldn’t get nearly the bang I would get from American Idol. Traditional media just has numbers on its side…for now.

Although new media allows for a much more personable approach to marketing, you have to consider the here and now. And the here and now is saying that people still like shows, news, and everything new media people say is “dead’. Good content drives traffic, no matter it’s source. Right now, the silent majority of people are still watching TV (including myself) and are still looking at passive forms of media. This means my CPM can be lower than it is with online media because although my costs are higher, my impressions are as well.

The two biggest questions marketers must ask are 1.) Where are the people who would benefit from my product and 2.) Where are the influencers that would help promote my product, whether professionally or as consumers? If I’m promoting software for developers, 99.9% of TV shows are stupid avenues. For the majority products however, it is naive and even dangerous to think that old media is completely “dead”. Just because you are an early adopter, it doesn’t mean that the people who pay your paycheck are as well.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/U2witer U2witer

    Marketing itself is going through an evolution not a fight.

    You are missing the point in what you’re addressing . . . The numbers you are using mean little here.

    You need to ask first "who is marketing here?" with “traditional media.”

    Ok, sure, Coca-Cola and Ford.

    But these are huge corporations . . . but what about smaller companies?

    Remember the Super-Bowl dilemma this year?

    Even large companies are second guessing using “traditional media”.

    Nielson ratings tell us only a small part of information . . . and numbers of people who see an ad means little.

    Effective marketers know this . . . it’s the people who sell the ad space that care about numbers, not the companies buying it.

    Good marketing is not like pigeon hunt with a shotgun . . . it's a sniper shoot.

    This applies for all media.

    With evolution, yes — some things die — but the casualties here will not be the types of media but the "traditional media" companies that do not effectively integrate themselves into using the internet and evolving with it.

    This is what good companies do though . . . they see a change happening and they adapt.

    What you should be paying attention to, more that the colossal corporations, is small and medium sized businesses and how they are trending in their use of traditional media.

    With the development of social media, the internet itself is evolving and even traditional internet based companies that thrived on promoting commerce, like eBay, are facing great problems and rapidly declining traffic.

    The internet is entering into a new stage of community development, where it’s more like a small town in its feel . . . this essentially is what social media is doing.

    In short, the companies that are the early adopters of this new media and who can effectively use it, will thrive.

    Ironically, it’s more traditional small town values that we’re trying to incorporate into the world wide web.

    The days of faceless and emotionless corporate colossuses are numbered.

    These are indeed interesting times :)

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/michellegreer michellegreer

      If the internet is going for a small town feel, then why are you anonymous?

      I appreciate that social media and online marketing in general is important and the way things are heading. That's addressed in my first paragraph when I say, "I must admit that the vast expense of print and TV production will inevitably push them to a web-based platform." That's why I do what I do for a living.

      However, your sniper rifle approach doesn't compete with a nuclear bomb. And right now, TV is still a nuclear bomb of sorts. The vast numbers it attracts IN THE HERE AND NOW is impressive. Will it always be this way? I argue that even when TV moves entirely to the internet, people will still gravitate towards good content. And where there is good content, people will want to advertise because they want to appeal to a lot of people in a short period of time. Social media complements this, but I'm sorry, old media has some good content and isn't dead, much less coming from the grave.

      Why do Dell and Ford, some of the bigger brands leading the charge in social media, also advertise on TV? Why does Zappos purchase pay-per-click and sponsor shoes for TV shows? Will it always be this way? No. Does TV, local and national, still have sway? Yes.

      I just promoted Twestival here in Austin, which raised almost as much as London and San Francisco. I promoted it via
      1.) Twitter
      2.) Blogs
      3.) Picking up the phone and calling people
      4.) Emails. TONS of emails. Personal ones.
      5.) TV
      6.) Radio
      7.) Facebook

      Twitter and blogs don't cut it. Seriously. People's Twitter feeds are channels that most people don't pay attention to.

      • U2witter

        I don't agree with you on the Twitter channel, first off.

        I have an account that is heavily followed and it's a great tool for finding clients if used properly and not for pure self promotional purposes or begging for money . . . The amount that you raised in your Twitter deal is just a drop in the bucket on what can be gained by using this network alone.

        The trick is to promote “a feel” and not give it in reality.

        There is a critical flaw in your thought (and it’s common among idealist): is you can not win favor by appealing to someone's good nature, but appealing to their self interest – this how you get things to happen.

        So the end reason why people befriend people in these networks is to feel they have an “in”.

        And, yes, my Twitter account is anonymous and I’ll leave it there.

        You’ve missed my point though, which is, you are looking at what large corporations are doing and this is a silly place to judge the success of a certain media. . . these companies are well established with or without television. . . and no . . . it’s not a bomb . . . we knew of them already because they are everywhere already.

        When the economy was hit just a few months ago the automotive market as a whole was pummeled, except two brands: Rolls Royce and Ferrari. They showed an increase in sales. By using your logic, it would be the same as saying that since Ferrari and Rolls Royce sales are strong then this is the way all consumers will trend in this market . . . . but it’s not. You’re just looking at a small segment.

        For television advertisement to succeed they will need more than just the large corporations to buy advertising space . . . however the production costs are prohibitive for other companies in this arena.

        Television has to evolve . . . More than likely, what we’re going to see in the future trends is banner ads the are inserted at the bottom of screens and tickers.

        As for the route of media and the use of the internet, be prepared for companies to host their own “Facebooks”

  • http://twitter.com/mikechapman Mike Chapman

    I'm enjoying this debate.

    I've also felt that the internet has provided for a return, of sorts, to the mom and pop business culture of pre 20th Century culture. Mistrust of large institutions was already in place. The ability to speak about it and circumvent their influence has been fostered on the social web. And, as in all things, this is a process. Evolution is about adapting and changing when needed. Large institutions inherently have a harder time doing this, but it's possible.

    Great content is key. Wherever the talent goes, the followers will appear. Pretty obvious, I know.

  • U2witter

    Right on Mike . . .

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/Russpd Russpd


    I agree with you in part. Certainly, television advertisers have an ability to reach a wider audience but the problem with television advertisements is that they are force fed to viewers. With DVR and other growing services, viewers are increasingly fast forwarding through advertisements, completely negating the millions of dollars a company spent to get featured on American Idol.

    IMO, to be a winner in advertising, you need to have your brand appear without annoying a reader. Product placement works well because I will notice that Simon is drinking from red Coke glasses in American Idol but that in no way disrupts my viewing experience like a 30 second Coke commercial. Similarly, if Ashton Kutcher hyped Coke on Twitter I would be more inclined to listen because I am opting into his Twitter feed and do not find his comments disruptive.

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/michellegreer michellegreer

      Remember though, the vast majority of people do not use DVR. We often think of what people CAN do, instead of what they actually are doing.

      Not everyone is an early adopter. There are still a lot of people who watch TV the way our parents did.

  • Eskimohorn

    You know your analysis about TV advertising. It's completely uncalled for, Michelle. You know those rating systems are flawed. They don't take in account houses that have… uh… more than two television sets… and other things of that nature.