Thursday, April 15, 2010

Targeting Ourselves Into Oblivion

With all the different types of media targeting available these days, media agencies are quickly targeting the ad industry into oblivion.

The reason is simply this. The largest problem with the digital platform is its lack of scale. And our targeting efforts are only helping to reduce the platform's ability to scale even more.

What do I mean, lack of scale? Isn’t everybody online? Yes, they are. But with so many options as to where to spend one’s time online, no one option draws the size audience that an advertiser needs to build a brand.

Realizing this, we’ve come up with ways to target even more myopically. And, in doing so, we are now trying to convince our advertiser partners that they should forget what we told them in the past - that bigger is better. Today, on the digital platform, good things come in small packages.

And, oh, by the way, as we whittle the audience down to only those few who should actually be interested in the product, we’re going to charge you a lot more for reaching a lot fewer people.

Less for more. Never a good, long-term sales strategy.

Is there a way out of this? Perhaps.

With broadcast TV, the reach is large, but the length of time in which a brand can speak with a viewer is typically 15 or 30 seconds.

On the digital platform, the reach is much smaller. But the length of time in which a brand can engage a viewer is unlimited.

Reaching a million viewers for 30 seconds each on broadcast will give the advertiser 30 million seconds of time spent with the brand.

Reaching a half million viewers for 60 seconds each on broadband will give the advertiser the same 30 million seconds of time spent with the brand.

If you hold the viewer's attention for 90 seconds, you can reduce the size of the audience even more and get the same result.

In other words, as reach decreases, the power of the creative contribution increases.

Brands are about building relationships. Relationships are built through time spent together.

In the past, brands built time spent on broadcast through reach.

In the future, brands will build time spent online through creative.

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