Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Why The Web Should Stop Trying To Be Like TV


Everyone seems to be writing about how advertisers need to take their TV budgets online.

After all, that’s where the people are.

I disagree.  

Not with the fact that people are spending more time online.  But with the fact that because they’re moving from TV, then advertisers should take they're TV budgets online and make online more like TV.

The reason people are moving online is because it isn’t like TV.

And, guess what?  They like that.

Online is used differently than offline.   People go online to get things done.  They watch TV to take a break from doing things.

Yes, there is some blending of the lines when it comes to programming. People do watch programming online.  And watching programming online is as much of an escape as watching programming offline.

But does that mean that advertising needs to be as intrusive online as it is off?

Hardly.

Advertisers need to look at the working relationship between online and offline as compatible rather than combative.  It's not either/or.  This or that.

It's more like yin and yang.

TV is where awareness about brands is developed.   The intrusive method of delivering advertising works well when creating awareness is the objective.

But once awareness is developed, the consumer’s next step is consideration, followed by exploration.

Until recently, this was done in the store itself, looking at the product, making comparisons, etc. 

Now, it’s done online.

TV drives potential customers online.  The store follows the online visit (if they don’t decide to buy online).

If this is the pathway to purchase, then why would an advertiser run the same sort of advertising online as they do off?  They don’t run the same sort of messaging in store as they do on TV. 

The consumer is that much closer to purchase in a store so the messaging is tied into where the consumer is at that point and time.

Online, for must consumers, is the next step after awareness.  If advertisers use TV for awareness and online for consideration and exploration, then the messaging will be very different on the two platforms.

Which is why the web should stop trying to be like TV.

And, in my opinion, the sooner the better.

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