Is Traditional Advertising Obsolete?

November 20th, 2008

Research and Analysis of Media (RAM) has already proven how effective mobile advertising is with its study (Mobile  online advertising).

Clearly, mobile devices have become a media goldmine – and this is just the beginning.

Paran Johar, CMO of JumpTap, a leading mobile search and advertising solutions provider, says this: “With mobile advertising slated to reach $2.7 billion in 2008 and $19 billion by 2012, now is the opportune time for advertisers to integrate mobile in their media buying mix.”

Connecting with consumers through their mobile devices. Increasing digital technology is offering consumers more control over their media usage. Media buyers and planners are using mobile advertising to maintain a connection with consumers.

DRTV partners with mobile advertising. Even DRTV advertising campaigns will become part of these mobile campaigns.

Advertisers can share information and instructions with consumers via SMS (text messaging). One vendor in particular, TVi Media, is hard at work with 5th Finger, an Australian based mobile marketing and technology firm, creating a system that will allow DRTV advertising to link to multiple cell phone carriers so that consumers can place orders directly from their phones instead of calling a 1-800 number call center.

Using Infomercials to Launch Your Product or Service

October 5th, 2008

If you have a product or service that you want others to know about, consider using infomercials as a way to educate consumers and convince them to purchase from you.

An experienced infomercial consultant can make sure your campaign is profitable… Someone who is experienced in the world of infomercials can guide you throughout the process of launching a successful infomercial campaign. This infomercial expert will advise you about which local and national networks and time slots will reach more of your target audience to ensure that your infomercial campaign is profitable.

For instance, your consultant might suggest a mix of local broadcast stations with national cable and satellite networks to ensure that your audience has an opportunity to learn all about your product or service.

An experienced infomercial consultant should understand your product or service and have some prior experience consulting others with similar products or services. For example, if you are selling a cleaning product, your consultant should have a successful track record with similar products in that “space.”

Keep your eyes on the competition… A seasoned infomercial consultant should research your competition and their infomercials to find out what channels and time slots they use. This knowledge can help you develop a strategy that works best for your campaign.

Of course, an infomercial consultant with strong negotiating skills is essential. Your consultant should be able to secure the best time slots to help you reach the most consumers for the best rates possible.

Internet Advertising Makes Way for the Mobile Market

September 5th, 2008

Advertisers looking to reach their target consumers are finding it necessary to diversify their marketing strategy beyond television advertising.

Getting to the right audience in a timely and valuable (in the audience’s eyes) way is more important than ever. Consumer expectations as far as the information they want and need are higher than ever—thanks to the Internet.

Advertisers can no longer rely on one means of advertising, such as television advertising, to effectively reach their target audience. They are also using and reaping the benefits of blogs, link exchanges and search engine advertising methods (among others). These promotional techniques work well when mixed with television advertising and other direct campaigns.

More than one at once. Most people are accustomed to receiving their information simultaneously from at least two different sources, including the Internet, and mobile technology makes this even easier.

Go mobile. Consumers are relying more and more on mobile networks and mobile technology to connect to the Internet while on the go.

Google, for one, is positioning itself as a leader in mobile advertising. “Over time, we will make more money from mobile advertising,” said Eric Schmidt, the CEO of the search giant, who added that that mobile advertising could soon overshadow the PC market in terms of reach and prevalence.

Advertising Dollars to Reach the Female Demographic pt 1

May 13th, 2008

The facts are amazing: Even though women still earn less money than their male counterparts (78 cents for every dollar a man gets), women make more than 80 percent of the buying decision in all homes. No wonder infomercial advertisers strive to capture the attention of females. But what complicates matters for marketers is how women shop. Unlike men, women research items more extensively and are less likely to be influenced by ads. This means marketers need to fine-tune their advertising messages and be seen in marketing venues that women deem credible.

Today, companies are paying more attention to the style and form of their products in an effort to appeal to women, and marketers are shifting away from only running television ads in favor of promotional efforts in venues women trust, such as reviews in women’s magazines and spots on TV shows like Oprah and Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.

Such activities prove that marketing today is getting more fragmented. What used to work in the past won’t necessarily work today. So in order to have your product or service reach the female market-even if it’s not a female-oriented product-you need to view marketing a bit differently than you did a few years ago.

A recent article in Advertising Age magazine details how women spend their leisure time. In it, columnist Mike Vorhaus asked women of all ages to identify from a list of activities their favorite leisure activity. What he found in the female category impacts all drtv advertisers who have a product that targets women-or who simply want to get a piece of the buying power that women possess.

Status Check: Online Political Advertising

March 12th, 2008

Tracking the use of online campaigning by this year’s presidential candidates is seemingly a loss cause. The prevalence of social networking, viral video and blogs makes it nearly impossible to gauge, until later and perhaps after-the-fact, the impact the Internet has had (or will have) on this year’s election.

(Even four years ago, would anyone have known or even imagined a CNN presidential debate in which Facebook or You Tube figured so prominently?)

A recent report by ClickZ.com says that the use of measurable online campaign methods, such as paid display advertising, is on the rise. Since about January 2007, presidential candidates have been using the Internet and Internet ad space as means of reaching out to potential voters.

The amount of campaign dollars put towards the online effort is still low in comparison to traditional efforts such as broadcast advertising and television ads.

Despite WGA (Writers Guild of America)Strike, Networks Still Come Out Ahead

February 18th, 2008

According to a recent article in the Hollywood Reporter, the Writers Guild of America strike isn’t harshly affecting TV and the networks.

Instead, the article reports that television advertisers are sticking to their guns and standing by the networks. In fact, while most advertisers had the option to back out of up to 50% of their upfront purchase in late January, few actually acted on that option.

The WGA website also claims that even if advertisers and media buyers requested their money back, it wouldn’t be a significant issue for these TV networks. In the article, MPG Senior VP Group Account Director Jason Janefsky, is quoted as saying, “The networks don’t care if advertisers exercise options or take money back. They can spin the inventory for a higher unit cost.” In other words, no skin off the networks’ backs.

Additionally, the networks are saving, from a financial standpoint, on all those cancelled writers contracts, along with the elimination of its non-writing staff. Despite the writers strike, now in its third month, the networks continue to move forward with a positive outlook and healthy hopes for the future.

TiVo helps Direct Response Advertisers with Interactive Solution

January 8th, 2008

It’s no secret that the proliferation of services like TiVo has changed the way viewers access and “digest” television.

As a response to this still-evolving trend, TiVo has announced that it’s formed the Interactive Direct Response Advertising Group, an entity that aims not only to help the drtv community fully understand the challenges of advertising in the age of DVR, but, more importantly, to offer real and viable alternative advertising solutions to the DR community.

In a press release, the company acknowledged what many of us already know: TiVo and DVRs lessen the need to “channel surf,” thus potentially lowering viewership for infomercials and other direct response television advertisements. (We know that many, if not most, viewers fast-forward through commercials.)

Relevant solutions?
What’s positive about the formation of this group is that it promises to find and present valuable, timely and workable (in other words, real) solutions for the portions of the direct response market that are impacted by this growing trend.

The DR community’s goal vis-a-vis TiVo and DVR is to “relate to customers directly from the remote control.” One proposed solution includes TiVo’s Interactive Advertising Platform which allows viewers to use their remote controls to click on tags that appear over television commercials in the Ad Showcase area if and when they want to request additional information or view special offers.

For infomercial advertisers, this change in approach presents a unique opportunity to create customized, easily-trackable and actionable offers specifically for the TiVo viewer.

How to Use the Internet to Tap into the Baby Boomer Market

November 15th, 2007

The big misconception in online media buying is that you can’t reach Boomers via the Internet. In fact, Baby Boomers make up one-third of the 195 million web users in the United States, according to JupiterResearch. Additionally, infomercial ad buyers targeted Boomers with close to 5 billion dollars in ads in 2004, out of 13 billion spent in web advertising. So don’t think that Boomers aren’t online and that they reject technology. Nothing could be further from the truth.

According to the Pew Internet & American Life Project, over half (54%) of 60-69 year-olds go online, and 72% of 51-59 year-olds surf the net. Further, studies show that Boomers spend more money online that the average web user, yet they’re still the most underserved audience on the net. Therefore, if you want to serve this demographic, consider the following.

Create a network. Boomers crave social networks. Sites like FaceBook.com and MySpace.com target younger people, and LinkedIn.com focuses on business professionals. While Boomers do participate in such online social networks, they usually discover that these sites have little to offer them. If you want Boomers to be a regular visitor to your site, offer them a place where they can connect with each other and explore topics of interest to them. It may be helpful for you to check out a new site, TeeBeeDee, tbd.com, which is specifically designed for Boomers and is positioned as a Facebook for Boomers.

Offer the right information. Boomers are most interested in such topics as alternative health, entertainment, finance, health, hearth and home, hobbies and fitness, and travel. Boomers are frequent and engaged online users, so make sure your site has the kind of information they are most interested in. This generation is also going through a life stage filled with lots of tough issues, including retirement, investment planning, and healthcare. If your product or service can help Boomers better plan for these life transitions, then you need to prominently state so on your site and offer lots of information on the topic.

Go easy on the multi-media effects. Boomers don’t want a web page to be overwhelming. Therefore, limit how much “stuff” you have going on the screen. Remember, Boomers don’t like to multi-task, so don’t try to pull their attention away from the core information they came to your site for.

Online Viewing Shifts TV Viewing

October 24th, 2007

Of the people who went to NBC.com to watch an episode of their favorite show online, forty-eight percent of users viewed a stream of at least one segment of “Heroes,” the site’s top show. Interestingly, NBCU’s research showed that thirty-five percent of the users went online to sample “Heroes” for the first time, and that ninety-six percent of them continued watching the series, both online and over traditional TV. So in this case, online viewing of shows is actually prompting more live TV viewing. NBCU is utilizing this data to pitch clients on a “360 degree” package that allows advertisers to reach and further engage viewers both through conventional TV and online.

 

One other interesting pattern revealed by the NBCU team was a slight increase in online viewing of NBC Rewind shows during lunchtime on workdays, suggesting that online drtv might be producing a new form of primetime. However, the study also shows that the heaviest usage of the site continues to be at nighttime, during conventional TV primetime hours.

Offline Advertising Influences Online Search and Purchases

October 1st, 2007

A recent study by iProspect and JupiterResearch that looks at the influence of offline channels on online search behavior had some very interesting findings that helped confirm what I suspected – that offline media channels are having a major impact on online searches and online purchase behavior. The study found that 39% of online searches that are influenced by offline media channels such as DRTV, print and radio advertising ultimately make a purchase. Results from the study also showed that 67% of the online search population is driven to search by offline media channels.

This data from iProspect confirms what people in the direct response advertising industry have been noticing for several years, that offline media channels such as direct response TV, radio and print are clearly influencing a staggering percentage of online searches and sales. The study clearly demonstrates that marketers who are relying on online advertising only are not harnessing the synergies that exist between search and offline advertising channels. I don’t feel this is a short term trend. I expect the influence of offline advertising on online search will continue to grow. We’ve worked with several Internet retailers that were able to take their business to the next level by adding direct response television to their media mix.