Jeff Lind

A Permanent State of Discomfort

Forces unleashed by the Tech world on traditional marketing and advertising are continuing to gaining momentum.  Blogs and podcasting have gone from ‘What are those?’ to becoming mainstream in just a few years.  Rupert Murdock paid $580 million to acquire a social-networking business [MySpace.com] a few years ago and now Face Book has surpassed MySpace in terms of popularity. With the Internet, ad-skipping digital recorders (DVRs), video cell phones, and portable music and video players vying for their attention, consumers are getting harder and harder to track.

Adapt To Consumers’ Changing Behavior

More and more marketers care less about what demographic you fall in and more about your passions be it cars, hunting, ballet, baseball, etc.  It is predicted that 40% of U.S. homes will have DVRs in less than two years.  Pair this preference for on-demand content with the ability to search for video on YouTube, Goggle or Yahoo, download it over speedy broadband links, and zip it to the living room TV and the traditional way we consume media will change.

Think how people get lost for hours surfing the Net now.  They are already doing that with flat-panel TVs in their living rooms.  Advertisers now have much more information they can use to target those particular viewers.

More Science, Less Art

Rather than knowing simply what percentage of 18- to 25-year-olds watch Desperate Housewives, they are able to figure out which people watch, how frequently they watch, and what they’ve been searching for recently on the Net, giving them a huge advantage on crafting and sending the correct message for maximum impact.  Advertising can become more science and less art.

GM tried ads on Comcast Corp.’s video-on-demand service last year.  Each month 10,000 people chose to view test-driving segments and in-depth vehicle profiles.  Other advertisers are experimenting with the most cutting-edge technologies like social networking and podcasting.  A couple of years ago, Kellogg Co. saw disappointing results from trials of its breakfast cereal Smorz.  After hiring SMG, a media strategist company, Kellogg was able to boost sampling by 500,000 through social networking.  Kellogg sent samples and DVDs about the making of cereal and the casting of TV ads to 10,000 influential adolescents to accomplish this.

My advice?  Track and adapt to consumers’ behavioral changes rather than clinging on to the status quo.  It’s a whole new world out there.

Jeff Lind can be reached at 544-9220 or jeff@slaslo.com.