Media is at a crossroads. So are we going to just keep staring down the roads ahead or actually do something? It's time to think bigger and take action. This month, two opinionated voices look at strategy, IPTV and the fate of newspapers.
A buy is an opportunity you should jump on or expand in. It's where we'd put our money. A hold has promise and is worth some experimentation, but a little more time is needed. A sellhas fallen out of favor, flopped or has a long way to go. Let's start big.
The conventional media planning process is antiquated. Make way.
Leslie North: If you really look at media planning, the industry still keeps throwing wide nets, driven by the standard reach and frequency metrics. We need to take a larger view and strategically plan to cast a series of nets to connect with people in more places and in more relevant ways.
Jay Suhr: Relevance is the operative word. The ideas, content and delivery of the communications really needs to be multi-layered. Big ideas need to be formed as a mosaic of smaller, more individually relevant messages. The big splash-it-everywhere-the-same-way campaign needs to be deconstructed.
LN: This isn't about the death of the 30-second TV spot. There is still a significant role for traditional awareness-building media. However, real attention has to be paid to the long-tail part of the media spectrum - the smaller sites, blogs, social networks, mobile apps where people are finding and exchanging the information they deem valuable. Done right, media and creative teams will need to plan and collaborate like never before.
JS: A brand's role in these places will be supportive, rather than intrusive - extending an invitation for someone to engage.
LN: Part of achieving this will be new metrics or a new approach to metrics. The old measurement systems are still weighted toward the mass - low cost-per-point, or low cost-per-acquisition. These now need to be part of a more finely calibrated approach to media measurement so that smaller, more influential and more effective media opportunities are fairly included.
Hang onto your remotes.
LN: I am watching the potential of Internet TV very closely. The technical limitations for great online video are lifting. The infrastructure is starting to take shape. And the ability for targeting and creating deeper experiences has incredible potential.
JS: I worry that the industry will get it wrong and dish up just long-form direct response television marketing or budget-conscious repurposing of existing video assets. Creative will get test-level budgets. These should really be approached and budgeted as small films and be part of the nucleus of the campaign, instead of outliers.
LN: It's a hold for me because it's not there yet.
Newspaper readership continues its decline as people stream to the Web and other sources for information. This is creating a gap for localized advertising opportunities.
JS: This pains me because I was a J-school major and believe in the important role a great newspaper serves in its community. I actually consume more newspaper content now than ever. I get business and national news from the New York Times and Wall Street Journal sites.
LN: Newspaper sites with great content can attract a national audience online as well as their local readers. So from an audience perspective, newspapers need to invest in their content and their sites. Online ad units need to be a larger focus.
JS: So where do the local ads go?
LN: Local search is already critical for small businesses. The larger local newspaper advertisers should push more of their budgets online and make sure that they have strong landing pages, Web sites and smart e-mail programs. This is particularly true for retailers who historically use newspapers to drive traffic. M
Leslie North is vice president and media director and Jay Suhr is senior vice president and director of creative services and account planning at T3. (firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com)