An advertising campaign is spread through several channels. Traditionally it is put into print publications, runs on TV and on Radio. In addition to these standard channels a campaign can be promoted through billboards, flyers, direct mail and many more.
When digital advertising came along it was seen as just another way of getting the message across and was simply added to the long list of already existing channels.
Consequently digital gets assigned a small part of the overall budget, which it shares with the TV ads, print and billboards alike and is treated like and afterthought to the more established advertising channels. This is where the problem lies.
THE SHIFT IN CONSUMER BEHAVIOUR
Digital is not just another channel; it’s a deployment method. And as such it calls for a complete shift of consciousness and creates the need for a new approach to advertising.
Traditional channels are changing. They slowly cease to exist in their traditional form and are merging into the digital space.
NEWS CONSUMPTION AND THE DIGITAL SPACE
The New York Times has been published daily since 1851. Although the print version of the paper remains both the largest local metropolitan newspaper in the United States, as well the third largest newspaper overall, its weekday circulation has fallen since 1990.
Since 1996 The New York Times has a shifted to a presence on the web and is now the most visited newspaper site with more than twice the number of unique visitors as the next most popular site. In addition to articles The New York Times offers highly regarded blogs, has been made on the iPhone and iPad and is the first newspaper to offer a video game as part of its editorial content.
In 2010, digital news readership surpassed that of traditional newspapers.
According to the Project for Excellence in Journalism’s eighth annual State of the News Media survey, online news consumption in the U.S. grew 17% in 2010, while all other platforms — including TV, radio, newspapers and magazines — all saw their news audiences decline.
Magazines share a similar fate. In the last year magazines have seen their subscriptions decline and newsstand sales diminish.
The evolution of the e-tablet in 2010, something closer to digital paper, altered the interaction consumers have with digital journalism profoundly. As a consequence, magazines were quick to gravitate to the iPad technology and even to Smartphones in 2010.
TV AND THE INTERNET
All other traditional channels see a trend in the same direction. Approximately 70% of global online consumers watch online video, with online live TV consumption up 648 percent in 2010. This is bad news for TV networks and especially for advertisers on traditional TV.
Watching TV content online has become common over the last years, however more and more users have shifted to watching live TV online.
In September 2010 YouTube started testing their new LiveStream service with streaming of the Indian Cricket Premier League and has opened up Live streaming to its partners in April 2011.
A SHIFT IN PERCEPTION
These shifts in consumer behaviors are the reason digital can’t be treated as just another advertising channel. Digital is so much more than that. It is a deployment method for all other channels.
In the future there will be no distinction between analogue and digital. Analogue will have merged into digital. Digital will be the platform for Newspapers, Magazines and TV. It will be omnipresent in the consumer’s live. It will be interwoven with everyday activity.
This calls for a shift of how advertisers perceive the digital space and especially their approach to their digital strategy. No longer can digital be seen as an add-on to traditional media, it needs to be considered as the fundamental driver of all media.
A failure to recognize the profound shift in consumer behavior and the power between an organisation and its customers brought about by the medium can be limiting at the least and fatal for the business at the worst.