Offline media such as print and insert is changing rapidly. Unfortunately, marketers are too quick to place the “traditional” label on these media as they centralize focus and resources around digital media. The result in many cases is a channel centric media mix that ignores opportunity and the ability for offline and online to work together.
The reality is that offline media and consumers use of it, are changing at a faster pace than marketing strategies. The gap needs to be closed which starts with a deeper understanding of the changes taking place within the media landscape.
Here are a few trends marketers need to take note of.
1. Consumers increasing shift to Digital Media
At an increasing rate, consumers are seeking their news and entertainment from online sources. Digital newspapers now have over 100 million viewers on a monthly basis. Subscription revenue from online magazines is expected to grow from $4 million in 2010 to $611 million in 2015. Rapid growth of tablets and tablet content from publishers is fueling this growth along with our desire to be armed with instant information.
Conversely, subscriptions to print versions of newspapers and magazines have been falling steadily for a number of years. Newspapers have been especially hard hit with double digit annual circulation fall off much of the last decade. Since 2000, newspapers have lost close to 15 million daily subscribers. Magazines have seen more moderate reductions in subscribers although certain categories like news weeklies have been hit very hard.
Most organizations have concentrated efforts around developing marketing plans to take full advantage of the digital media growth while at the same time ignoring tangible offline opportunity.
Why it matters:
- Publishers are hungry for revenue and have never been more creative around media rates. Significant circulation exists in both newspapers and magazines at rates close to 85% off rate card pricing. The flexibility around pricing has helped lower performance hurdles and opened up the media to many different types of offers
- Print media is proven to drive qualified buyers online and works well as part of an integrated campaign. Many online merchandisers such as Overstock, Zappo’s, Fragrancenet .com and OneStopPlus.com have all utilized print media to drive online buyers
- Category opportunities. For newspapers, younger readers have migrated to online sources creating a more efficient media buy for those offers reaching a mature reader
- Low risk baseline learning. Magazines and newspapers have not developed consistent pricing models for their digital publications. Advertisers can capitalize on opportunistic, low risk, media buys as a way to establish performance metrics
2. Out of Home Media (OOH) – From Brand to ROI
The growth of smartphone’s and tablets are changing our daily lives including how we process information and advertising. According to IDC, worldwide shipments of smartphone’s have gone from 305 million units in 2010 to an expected 660 million in 2012. This equates to over 100% growth in two years. In addition, consumers are more comfortable accessing the internet from their mobile device. It’s estimated that by 2015 more people will access the internet through their mobile device than a wired connection.
OOH media grew by 8.6% in the first three quarters of 2011 which is almost 3x greater than most traditional advertising. Evolution, growth and relevance of OOH media will continue and direct response advertisers need to take note.
Why it matters:
- Consumers need to be reached with relevant messaging and offers in places that reflect their interest and lifestyle. This includes places such as the airport, health club, commuter stations, doctor’s office, salons and even night clubs. OOH media opportunities reflect the lifestyle of well defined target markets
- OOH media opportunities are evolving rapidly and need to be continually evaluated. Distribution networks, volume, and media placement windows are changing constantly. In addition visibility to new programs is very fragmented requiring ongoing research
- QR codes and their effectiveness will continue to evolve and provide consumers easy access to mobile optimized sitesMedia pricing models are still very brand based. Marketers need to evaluate opportunity and use direct response principles when negotiating media rates
3. Offline Media’s Ability to “Drive to Web”
Print and insert media have proven effective at driving qualified buyers online. In effect, offline exposure to a product or an offer “open the doors to the store” and drive consumers online for additional information or to make a purchase. According to a study by Marketing Evolution, they identified a 40% increase in web traffic for those offers having a corresponding magazine placement.
For insert-based media like Package Inserts, there has been significant growth in program volume from online merchants. For 2012, there is close to 20 million in annual insert volume available and this number is expected to grow as more and more merchants make their shipments available for advertisers.
Why it matters:
- Offline advertising has the ability to effectively expand marketing reach beyond digital efforts driving incremental customers
- Expands media mix allowing marketers to better optimize marketing investment across channels
- Creates an opportunity to drive additional demand around seasonal products or events
- Builds brand. Although effectiveness should be based on a media placement’s ability to provide an acceptable return, offline media has significant reach which helps build brand
The media landscape is changing rapidly as are consumer’s ability to access information and make purchases. More than ever before, successful marketing strategies will require integration of offline and online efforts as well as a keen eye on developing media opportunities. Organizations with fluid media planning and investment strategies will be in better position to capitalize on performance and opportunity.