Wednesday, March 12, 2008

New Media vs. Old Media Advertising from My Gen-Y Mind

New Media vs. Old Meidaphoto credits to Mickie Flick

Once again this blog post stems from a few conversations that I have had in the last few days. It's a talk that has a lot of advertising agencies worried and playing catch up. It's an unknown format to many even though it is everywhere from Newsweek covers to 60 Minutes segments.

New Media Advertising vs. Old Media Advertising.

My talks with fellow co-workers, prospective clients and even my boss at the ol' 9-5 have all resolved over the fact that old media types are still behind on the times and still very skeptical of advertising online, well maybe not everything online, but certainly with Social Media.

I am not one to say that old media is dead, I think it's fading. The Orlando Sentinel is getting smaller and smaller as the months go by and classified sections are becoming non-existent. I still pick up free magazines such as AXIS or the Orlando Weekly and they have a healthy readership and sometimes some good content (sometimes).

Most advertisers that I have encountered are skeptical of the web. They think that if they can't touch it, people can't see it. Yet my biggest rebuttal is when you place a print ad or tv commercial, the user / viewer must do at least these 4 things:
1. See the advertisement
2. Pay attention to it
3. Asses the call to action (if there is one)
4. Perform the call to action (like go to a website, call a number or go to a location)

Most old media has great tracking. They know how many issues they print, the pick up and return rate, number of viewers, etc. However, there is no way to tell how many of those that picked up the paper, looked at your ad.

New Media, however has that tracking and more. I can tell you how many impressions your ad has, how many page views, click through's, the IP address of the clicker/viewer, how they got to the ad and where they went after they saw the ad.

That's a lot of stats and knowledge to know if an ad campaign is working or not. If it's not, we can fix it immediately, no waiting until the next issue or run comes out. We can change graphics, text, landing pages instantly and track those results as well.

What's even better, if it is an ad campaign coupled with a search campaign, you are targeting users who are looking for you. They are trying to find a business that is doing what you are doing.

Now take the steps of a viewer online looking for you (or your competitor):
1. Searches for a topic of interest
2. See most relevant results thanks to the good folks at Google
3. Visit site
4. Signs up, orders or moves on to find what they are looking for

Same amount of steps, but the medium has changed.

Take an ad in the Orlando Sentinel. Great reach in the Central Florida region, no doubts about that. You have an ad for a major retail chain. It's placed in the local section. Page 2. Full page at that. Problem is that the person who bought the paper was looking for last night's box scores, not the local weather or police report. That eye ball has been lost.

Take that same campaign and blog about it. Start getting organic rankings for Orlando department and retail stores, or whatever key phrases you find to be effective. Now you might be getting less distribution, but the eyeballs are targeted and more likely to be buyers.

Back to an advertising campaign. Find websites that are in your niche. You sell baseball equipment in Orlando. Look into blogs, message boards, community sites and such that target local ball players. Look into guest blogging on the Orlando Sentinel sports blog or another community leader for local athletics.

You are geo-targeting your ads and will see better return on your investment.
This is New Media folks. It is very powerful when you play your cards rights and focus your efforts not on the whole, but on the parts that are going to make your business profitable.

Where do you see issues in the New Media vs. Old Media debate? Old Media, how can you adapt and make a comeback (or have you not even left the building yet?)? Looking forward to hearing from you and getting to the route of the problem and the possibilities of the future.

-Greg Rollett


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