The rapid technological changes taking place today are opening up new horizons of marketing channels, while at the same time forcing some of most established advertising mediums to make radical changes themselves or go the way of the dinosaurs.
Case in point and one of the biggest budget, highest profile examples… Television Advertising – a typically PUSH oriented advertising channel!)
It is no secret now that with the advent of Tivo and other digital video recording solutions, consumers are now able to literally fast-forward past the ads that for years invaded their living rooms as they attempted to watch their favorite shows.
This new technology enables the consumer to choose whether they are going to sit through any ad or simply skip it and give their direct and indirect attention only to the show they are trying to watch.
This New Technology Enables The Consumer To Choose
This is a very troubling situation for the television networks who for so many years were able to charge exorbinant sums in exchange for companies securing a 30 to 60 second spot in the middle of their broadcasting. In the past the target audience was close to being a captive, basically having to endure commercials in an effort to watch their favorite TV shows.
That has all changed now.
What is the solution for television advertisers and the networks selling ad time?
Well, the short-term "band aid" some networks are testing is to go way, way back to an earlier era when ads were comprised of live "plugs" for products during the feature show. These ads were more a part of the show than an ad, making them all but completely unavoidable to the viewing audience.
One great example of this "back to the future" tactic being used are the ad spots soon to be running on late night talk show, "Jimmy Kimmel Live" as well as the Garmin spot recently aired on "The Tonight Show With Jay Leno". Initial data collected for the spot aired shows it to be much more effective than traditional spots run in recent days.
There is a Much Deeper Problem
Now, while this flashback marketing solution seems to make sense on the surface, I propose that there is actually a much deeper problem to be faced by advertisers and their marketing teams.
I believe the question to be asked is "Why are consumers fast-forwarding through ads to begin with?"
What cacophony of praise might we have heard if the collective cheers of all DVR users could have been voiced simultaneously when they realized commercials could be skipped?
Should there be that strong a reaction?
Could it be that the public has long been growing more and more tired, if not at times disgusted, with the constant and often blatant advertising that is shoved under their nose?
Do advertisers need to shift their efforts to even more, dare I say, "creative pull marketing" as opposed to the typical "push" efforts most use?
Technology is Forcing Advertisers to Change
It is obvious that technology is forcing advertisers to change the way they do things. This is not going to stop.
What I ask you then is this:
Does the marketing industry as a whole need to step back and evaluate the effects their messages and methods have upon consumers before yet another advertising medium joins television ads on the endangered list?
What do you think? Share YOUR comments with us…
Onward & Upward!
The following is an examination of the overarching, marketing technique known as "Pull Marketing." I refer to it as an "overarching" technique as it is an overall method as opposed to a specific tactic.
My reasons for discussing pull marketing stem from a variety of perspectives I have on the subject.
First, as an executive in a marketing agency I hear this term used at times in reference to individual executions and at times as the focus of an overall campaign. It is a term we throw around frequently, at times attaching it to work that truly exemplifies the term and at times to elements that really only loosely apply. We are all aware of the importance of pull versus push marketing as well as just how difficult it can be to design and execute a proper pull campaign.
Independent Internet Marketer
The second perspective from which I contemplate the term pull marketing is as an independent Internet Marketer, conceiving, developing and marketing information products and software. In the world of IM (Internet Marketing) we are seeing more and more pull marketing being employed, even if the specific term is not applied to it. When one considers the fact that the vast majority of the Internet (even the hidden Internet) is made up of freely available information accessible to just about everyone wanting to access it… we realize the Internet is a near perfect pull marketing medium.
When one examines the most successful marketing campaigns (that is multi-million dollar campaigns that took place within the incestuous little IM world) of recent months it becomes very apparent that they were built upon the provision of high-quality, in-demand, free content. The ultimate buyers of the programs and products being offered were drawn to the "answers" to their problems that were being made available in audio and video. By the time the product being sold was made available it was all folks could do to keep from being cut to ribbons by the frenzy of credit cards that were all but thrown at the sellers.
I could go on talking about just this one perspective for quite a while… but am going to save that for a latter installment of this examination.
Now, on to perspective three which would be as the consumer.
This aspect requires close and in my opinion immediate examination as the landscape of advertising and marketing is now changing rapidly. Never before have advertisers had so many channels through which to disseminate their messages. Likewise, never before have consumers been hit with such a deluge of messages.
The marketplace has never been as crowded as it is today, with an unprecedented number of products and services vying for our attention.
We are all painfully aware of the volume of email (much of it unsolicited) that hits our inbox each and every day. That is just one single channel.
The traditional media channels such as mail, print, radio and television are all but clogged up with advertising messages that are constantly thrust in prospects’ faces. Add in a variety of marketing mediums on the Internet such as banners, pay per click advertising, video, audio etc. and it is really almost overwhelming.
The majority of this marketing is push marketing and often very aggressive push marketing.
Here is where the problems arise as the natural reaction to this constant bombardment is consumers becoming more and more savvy and more and more jaded.
In plain terms, people learn not to look at the right hand column on a set of Google search results.
The immediate reaction of most advertisers when push messages are becoming overlooked is to look for alternate channels through which they can push their message, or they simply stay right where they are and… just push even harder. The bottom line on this is consumers are getting pretty damned sick of it all and will seek out Tivo-like solutions to employ wherever and whenever possible.
Seems to me a change needs to come about which is all but screaming out for pull marketing methodology.
The Psychology Behind It
The final perspective from which I will examine pull marketing is from a psychological standpoint (yes, besides expertise in marketing, and being a trained chef, I also hold degrees in both Psychology and Biology).
I will not even start into a discussion regarding the psychology involved in pull marketing right now as this post is already getting lengthy. Suffice it to say, I will cover it in great detail later on as I personally find it fascinating and I feel full understanding of the mechanisms in place and the forces at work is critical to being able to properly harness and use pull marketing effectively.
The image at the very top of this post is a reflection of what can happen when pull marketing is properly used. A virtual avalanche of attention can result that ultimately may be all but impossible to stop. It starts with a single attraction and snowballs as more and more
My goal in this series is to answer a base set of questions within the framework of these various perspectives:
- What is it really?
- How does it work?
- Where is it being used?
- How can I use it?
Please feel free to share your own comments, thoughts and questions on this topic as we go.
Onward & Upward!
I suppose I should say not TV in general but TV advertising (the state of TV as we know it today is another post on another day).
I find it very entertaining and interesting to watch advertisers restructure and redirect how and where their marketing dollars are spent.
Yes, most folks know that "social media" is pretty much the latest and greatest thing since sliced bread, especially if the conversation mentions the word "Web" and the numbers "2.0".
The great riddle is how to harness it and even more importantly, how to monetize it.
Take a look around and you will notice all of the major television networks trying to generate conversation and interaction between viewers. This, really in an effort to draw people into their websites.
That is what the networks are doing, but what are the companies that typically advertise on those networks broadcasts doing.
The answer is… not spending anywhere close to what they used to on TV ad time.
I recently read the results of a very interesting Forrester Study that details this exact topic.
Here are a few of the findings:
Sixty-two percent of marketers believe television advertising has become less effective in the past two years, but close to half of the advertisers surveyed have already started to experiment with new ad types to work with DVRs and VOD programs. Eighty-seven percent of advertisers believe branded entertainment will play a stronger role in TV advertising in the coming year.
Advertisers are eager to try new ad formats, including ads in online TV shows (65 percent), ads embedded in VOD (55 percent), interactive television ads (43 percent), and ads within the set top box menu (32 percent)
Over 50 percent of marketers reported that when half of all TV households use DVRs, they will cut spending on TV advertising by 12 percent.
Eighty-seven percent of respondents said they intend to spend more on Web advertising this year.
Seventy-two percent of marketers are very interested in having individual commercial ratings rather than average commercial ratings.
Ah yes, did you notice the mention there of the DVR. That technology alone is singlehandedly giving TV advertising a hard spanking. All one has to do is record, and then start watching a show 10 minutes into that same show. Do that and you can fast forward through all of the commercials. You no longer have to watch a single one.
So what next?
What will happen as more people do their TV viewing through the computer?
Can you say "Opportunity" for those individuals and companies that understand and can harness the Internet as an interactive, marketing channel.
Well, this is all new enough that the jury is still out, but TV and more specifically TV advertising seems to be a dying breed.