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.