The Internet is well on its way to assimilating all media except print. We can see this massive shift in the way we consume our media; just look to Pandora, Netflix, Hulu, CNN and Fox News. Even the menu screens at fast food chains and digital billboards on the highway and at the gas pumps are controlled through the Internet. Resistance is futile.
But all information and advertising doesn’t have to be in the form of pixels, just as all experiences in our lives don’t have to be watched on a screen. Consider the enjoyment you get out going to the movies or attending a live play, watching a band perform, going to a sporting event.
We are not destined to stay home and have all our goods delivered while we stare at video screens for the rest of our lives.
Yes, there will be less print, with most of our news going online (Reuter’s 2013 Digital News Report shows that news is becoming “more mobile, more social and more real-time”). But less print will make it a more effective media channel in the long run, according to Forbes.com. Print is special; it has a gravitas that comes from being important enough to deliver in person. Print cuts through the digital clutter to engage.
An IPC Media study found that “Print had the most amount of influence over actual purchase from a shop or online, with 45% of respondents indicating print had inspired a purchase, compared with 40% who indicated that digital editions motivated them to buy, 38% for apps and 34% from the web,” according to their press release.
Advertisers must find a way differentiate themselves from the thousands and thousands of other advertisers they now compete with online. Meanwhile, consumers are tuning out all those online ad messages. There’s simply too much data online already for anyone to realistically search through and really find what they are looking for – I know Google is good but do you realize how much content is out there?
According to DOMO which produced this infographic on data generation in 2011 – every 60 seconds, every single minute:
>> 27,778 new Tumblr blog posts are published
>> 34,722 “Likes” are clicked on Facebook
>> 47,000 apps are downloaded from Apple
>> More than 100,000 tweets are tweeted
>> There are more than 2,000,000 searches on Google
>> Users upload 48 hours of new video to Youtube
>> 571 new websites are created
The list goes on and on, and these stats were from way back in 2011. Since then, in just two years according to Science Daily in May of last year — 90% of all data in the world has been generated. So as daunting as the DOMO infographic looks, that data and content was only 10% of the information that exists today. And that’s only the start of it. As young and old both become more comfortable with generating content, the volume will border on insane.
Advertisers face another huge digital hurdle, thanks to ad-blocking software and hardware that can strip ads from your Internet content, much like fast forwarding through commercials on a DVR, watching a Netflix show without commercials, or paying Pandora for ad-free music. As the cost of Internet advertising continues to decline, eliminating more barriers to entry for businesses, consumers are growing weary of all the ads with all their content. They’ll find a way around it.
Regional businesses need an effective media vehicle to reach their audience, one that actually reaches their audience and isn’t clicked past to reach what the reader is really looking for. The message they want to communicate is for specific individuals based on specific demographics – either B2B or B2C.
The Internet offers a nationwide audience, and for many national businesses having access to the entire population makes sense. But for most niche publishers of magazines and catalogs, print remains an effective targeting option and, according to Forbes.com, is poised to become even more effective as time goes on.
“With more and more businesses relying solely on the Internet for their advertising needs, the decline of print publication can actually be used as a marketing advantage. The publications are less crowded, allowing more room for your ad to shine, and possibly even cheaper prices for that ad space.” (Forbes.com)
You know your customers and your audience. Reach them with something they can keep and reference for the long term. Give them great content and images they can enjoy alongside ads they can use; ads that make sense for them. Target them with print and get past the digital clutter. They will welcome the real world interaction and value the entire experience, as you give them a printed publication that is so much more than just pixels.