Ten years ago, the kind of discussion heard at December’s “breakfast with the Minsiders” event might have seemed absurd.
Take, for example, this statement, as quoted in Arti Patel’s coverage of the event in Folio: “Ideas that were advertising-driven aren’t working anymore. It’s not what clients want,” Jamie Rubin of Deutsch NY was quoted as saying. “We’re shifting to a place where everything has a content angle attached.”
That line beautifully encapsulates the dramatic sea change in the ad industry, where consumers are driving their consumption of not just content but advertising as well. The companies that truly understand this – not just give lip service to it – have our vote as most likely to thrive.
The idea also gives traditional magazine publishers a headache. Advertising revenue is still a requirement, and if consumers don’t want “ads” then what’s a publisher to do? The question becomes even complex when you consider that, as GroupM’s Scott Kruse said, ““The checklist [of what clients want] is growing, but the [revenue] pie is staying the same.”
We see some potential solutions here, as ads become interactive pieces of content like the Motorola push button ad, and consumers are allowed more control over their level of engagement with advertising messages. Native advertising, sponsored content and targeted content marketing will all continue to evolve and contribute to the revenue pie.
And it’s becoming more obvious that the whole “death of print” thing has become a caricature of itself. The panel kicked off the discussion with an assertion that print is far from dead, despite 2013 being the year it was most loudly eulogized.
“My team and I were thinking about how long people have been saying print is dead and it was in the 1980s,” Laura Frerer-Schmidt, publisher of Women’s Health, noted. “It’s a viable business and it’s not going away.”
These are interesting times indeed, and the field is wide open for innovation and new ways of thinking. Can’t wait to see what 2014 has up its sleeve for us.