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I want what they're smoking . . .

2009 May 13

The Headline reads:

TV Ad Market Stabilizing, Say Industry Execs

Hmmm.  Oh yeah, they were talking to analysts on earnings calls.  They report that inventory is beginning to tighten up.

Quoting from the article from Media Buyer, “Analysts are saying the increasing activity in local TV and radio – due in part to a reduction in prices – indicates a recovery is in the works. Inventory at some local TV and radio stations is beginning to become tight, as first time advertisers who couldn’t afford TV or radio in the past are beginning to make ad buys.”

TNS Media Intelligence reports that U.S. advertising expenditures declined 4.1 percent in 2008.  And it’s not looking so good for 2009.

Local TV and local radio are doing what they’ve always done. When things get tight, they target small local businesses.  Those businesses not savvy enough to know that the world is changing, and that consumers no longer believe what they see on TV or hear on the radio.  C’mon, how many times can the same carpet store really go out of business?  If you own a business, please repeat after me, “Consumers Now Control the Message”.  Say it again now . . . . .

IF in fact TV revenues are stabilizing, I predict that it’s a short term phenomenon.  I’m not suggesting that TV and radio are bad places to advertise.  I am suggesting that small businesses can better use their meager marketing budgets by focusing their efforts to social media endeavours.   Instead of a two week ad blitz, perhaps hiring a contractor to optimize their website for search, track competition through social networking, and start to engage with their customers on-line.

When Gutenberg invented the printing press, he changed the way information was disseminated.  I’m sure his invention led to mass layoffs in the “hand printing” industry (or whatever they called it), and paved the way for many new industries including the newspaper industry.

But that industry on its last legs.

Even I cancelled delivery of the morning paper.   It was getting smaller and smaller, with fewer ads resulting in fewer pages of news.  A lot fewer.  In fact, some days I commented to my wife that our high school newspaper was thicker!

For now, I’ll get my news on-line from various news sources.  I’m inclined to buy a new Kindle DX when it’s released because I already miss reading the newspaper as I enjoy  my morning coffee.  The Kindle DX seems like it will fill that niche well.

TV and Radio have to change.  Their business models have to change.  Their scheduling has to change.  The options for viewers has to change.  Some broadcasters will make it, others won’t.

People will find other uses for Gutenberg’s invention.  The printing press is not going away.  Radio and TV are not going away.  And social media is here to stay.  Facebook and Twitter may go the way of early chat rooms, but peer to peer communication; communities built on sharing, and on-demand up to the minute information are not only the present, but the future!

Change is never easy for businesses entrenched in the “old” model.  In the video below, NPR CEO Vivian Schiller,  talks about why newspapers must keep their online content free.  It’s tough to make money when people are not willing to pay for your product.  Yikes!



One Response leave one →
  1. May 13, 2009

    As a consultant, I see the value of social media. However, for the average small business, effectively navigating social media is largely about understanding the Millennials. Please see my review of Millennials and social media.

    See also the ways in which social media and sustainability are aligned.

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