The next time your CEO asks you why you're spending money on streaming, text messaging applications, building that social networking component, creating a blog, and designing that new music discovery section on your website, remind him/her of this fact:
The exodus of ad spending from traditional media to the Internet is accelerating.
“I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has been.”
A recent study from TNS Media Intelligence shows that the top 100 advertisers spent $230 million less in 2006 than in 2005 on "old media" - TV, radio, and print. Conversely, their online advertising efforts jumped by $558 million.
They cite American Express as an example. The firm's online advertising rocketed 180%, while traditional advertising dropped 13%. Yet, eMarketer analyst David Hallerman notes there's a bit of a dichotomy in that while ad dollars are shifting to "new media," most advertisers still prefer traditional media strategies.
So what does that mean for a medium like broadcast radio? We have the best of both worlds. Radio is still all about massive cume audience (and PPM numbers are even better), strong, reliable brands, and the potential to have great web resources that complement its on-air sound and philosophies. And Radio can drive its cume to its websites by just getting on the air and asking for the order. It's a proven strategy, but it requires an enlightened sales and marketing strategy, better hiring/training of sales people, investment in online tools and personnel, and a serious reality check inside station clusters and corporate boardrooms.
Dollars are shifting. It's time that radio shifts, too.