BrainTrust Query: What Happens to Traditional Media When it Goes Digital?
Commentary by Joel Rubinson, Chief Research Officer, The Advertising Research
Through a special arrangement, presented here for discussion is an
excerpt from a current article from the Joel Rubinson on Marketing Research
At the ARF Audience Measurement conference last week, some
speakers really got me thinking about what happens when all media becomes digital.
Here are three forces that could produce profound changes in media and advertising
both from a business and user experience point of view.
Everything will become digital
Digital used to be synonymous with online but everything will become digital.
Dave Poltrack from CBS predicts a huge increase in HD, 3D, and IPTV TV sales.
David Verklin, president of Canoe Ventures, talks about the interactive TV
advertising experience that will be nationally available. Video in Facebook?
How about Facebook built into your new 55" HD 3D TV? The future of print media
is being revolutionized by electronic readers like iPad. One can also imagine
codes being inserted into print advertising or editorial pieces that, when
captured by a smart phone, instantly leads to a multi-media experience or electronic
No longer is CBS a TV company or Time, Inc. a magazine; no longer is "media
platform" the business organizing principle. Now, the media property
is the organizing principle and it must live synergistically across platforms.
Data will always trail the media possibilities
New touchpoints are emerging weekly, it seems. Advertising via the iPad
was born so very recently. Apps for smart phones that create amazing location-awareness
and shopper marketing options are emerging so fast it is mind-numbing. How
can a manufacturer not want to put codes on packages that, via a reader on
any smart phone, can now bring a brand’s story to life with sight, sound,
and motion at point of purchase? Digitization allows a marketer to guide a
consumer along the path to purchase right to the check-out.
The point is, syndicated
media research data bases, custom marketing research assessment can’t
possibly get ahead of this; they will always be playing catch-up, focusing
on the most significant of the touchpoints that are attracting substantial
The importance of understanding audience size will diminish
The most important things in traditional media, the stats we all understand,
relate to audience size (GRPs, circ, etc.). However, imagine watching an episode
of House on a platform that allows for selective ad serving. As soon as two
different households start getting different ads served to them, measuring
total audience becomes less important to the advertiser. Online, monthly uniques
are a guide to which sites an advertiser should consider but they are paying
for impressions served (or clicks). "Traditional" media could/should
move to this model as it becomes digital.
If this comes to pass as traditional
media become digital, imagine the implications for syndicated media currency
databases, and media tools. While this will be traumatic to the existing infrastructure
for "traditional media",
the increased business value of advertising and the increased CPMs that advertising
should command when it is made more relevant based on intelligent serving rules
are potentially very significant.
Discussion Questions: What obvious and less obvious changes do you see occurring
as traditional media increasingly shifts to digital? What will be the most challenging
hurdle for marketers?
- What happens to traditional media when it goes digital? – Joel Rubinson
on Marketing Research Consulting