Online Advertising’s Tipping Point

5 Ways to take advantage of online advertising

Stop the presses big news! In 2010 revenue from online advertising pushed ahead of newspaper advertising, print and online combined according to a recent report from eMarketer. The implications for newspapers and other print media formats like magazines are significant. Lower advertising revenues for print publications are particularly painful because of the high fixed cost that they incorporated into their business model in the good times.

Source: eMarketer

To better understand how this trend has grown, look at how Americans spend time across various media platforms. Bear in mind that the change in the number, size and utility of computers, smart phones, e-readers, iPads, gaming devices, etc. has resulted in a concurrent evolution in how, when, where and what type of content we consume. Marketers have to be aware of how media consumption is evolving and the impact this has on their optimal advertising media mix.

Source: eMarketer

5 Online advertising distinctions

Here are five underlying important ways that online advertising differs from more traditional media:

  1. Combo Consumption. This refers to the ability to concurrently be engaged on multiple media formats at the same time. The most common option is to have the computer and television on at the same time.
  2. On-the-go media. While newspapers historically have been the media you read while commuting, increasingly smart phones, e-readers and iPads have allowed online media consumption on the go.
  3. Multi-device capabilities. Online media can be delivered to a wide variety of offerings allowing readers to determine how, when and where they want to consume your content.
  4. Variety of ad format options. Online advertising can potentially be adapted to a broad range of different types of media. Among the alternatives are text ads, banner ads, sponsorships online video, email marketing, social media and others. Each format has a different potential audience.
  5. Measurable results. Online advertising is not just for direct response sales. It can drive a wide range of different actions including branding, product research, engagement and other social actions. Unlike offline advertising, online advertising can measure interim actions.

5 Ways to take advantage of online advertising

To take advantage of online advertising’s strengths, here are five suggestions for marketers.

  1. Reallocate your marketing budget. Think about where and what your target audience is doing online. Which platforms are they active on? Where do they consume their content?
  2. Aggregate your audience online. Since online advertising doesn’t have the same level of reach as offline television, how can you use different media options to reach your market effectively? Do you need a combination of online and offline advertising?
  3. Leverage online advertising’s ability to target. Consider whether you want to use behavioral targeted or specialized media or other tailored options.
  4. Use online advertising’s interactivity to improve your connection with your audience. Remember that special options like social media advertising require a special approach so that you don’t piss off your prospects.
  5. Test new forms of advertising. Think broadly in terms of online media, video, podcasts, photographs, PR and social media.

Given that traditional print media outlets have been challenged to find ways to expand their reach and revenue streams, what’s surprising is that it took so long for online advertising to claim a large chunk of the typical company’s marketing budget. In part, online has been challenged by its inability to match television’s mass reach. But it compensates by being much more targetable.

What’s your perspective on the growth of online advertising? Are there any other points that you would add to this list? If so, please include them in the comment section below.

Happy marketing,
Heidi Cohen


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Photo credit: Inju via Flickr

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