Where has everyone gone? The greatest challenge to advertising ever...
Thu 10 Jun 2010
1979, any given Tuesday night: I was eleven at the time and scantly remember sitting cross-legged on the lounge room floor to watch the TV news with a lamb chop dinner, boiled potatoes and beans. I never did eat the beans and later worked out that mum could have saved $1000+ on greens during my childhood, but that another time.
The point is, that un-be-knowns to me, all across the country the families and people of Australia were usually doing the same thing. There was a house phone that was rarely used, the daily newspapers included the Telegraph and Courier Mail and the people that you mostly frequently communicated with were in your workplace, or over the back fence. There was a post box out the front, and about four AM band Brisbane radio stations of note.
When you looked down on the situation it is pretty easy to see that the bicycle company that sought my attention had pretty limited means to �get in my face� about the BMX bike that I should want for Christmas. Likewise, telling mum about the mix-master was a similarly easy choice for Sunbeam.
Take stock of the advertising choices - 4 TV stations, 1-2 newspapers, 3-5 radio stations and postbox leaflets. This is extended in the minority by department store �merchandising� and the door to door antics of the famous Electrolux man. The advertiser had very little option. Really. No wonder we talked about media �empires� - they DID control the way information was �channeled� to the people.
Fast forward 21 years and the advertising exec's of that era are now on the verge of retirement and the media moguls perhaps in the grave. Left behind are today's advertisers, media companies and ad agencies who have to face their biggest challenge ever. I'll call it �dispersal�. Each of us in the modern world, now has a mobile phone, email address, typically a Facebook account and may follow some celebs on Twitter. There are over 1 trillion web pages to read, text messages, 50 pay television channels, and an FM radio band absolutely wall to wall.
I can't remember the last time that someone reported an excellent ROI �return on investment� from ANY one advertising medium.... and don't look to me for answers. In the current economic climate I would report my efforts good-to-fair for my clients on a scale of zero to excellent.
Some hints from ground zero at eCentral:
Work harder than ever
I have probably put in more desk hours this month than for the whole of 2009.
Create an advertising mix
Expose yourself over the advertising mediums that you can afford, in a meaningful way. If you can't afford to do a medium properly, pass it by.
You might have noted a range of promotions from Channelwhitsundays.com this year. ebay sales, shop to win, blog to win, with a couple more just around the corner
Explore synergies for combined marketing across an industry, or locality... like the Multihull Solutions Bareboat Open Day discussed elsewhere in this issue.
Use a range of mediums, print, radio, Facebook, databases to fight �dispersal� and bring people together at one place, web site or event � so you can market effectively to them.
Build a database in one medium
A Facebook or Twitter following is ok, but much better know their phone number and email address!
� and finally educate yourself outside your comfort zone.
I had the opportunity to pour through 60 odd pages of �Guerrilla Marketing� by Jay Conrad Levinson at the weekend. Some of it was marketing one-o-one, but there were some great ideas also.
So... What action are you taking?
John Nayler is the proprietor of eCentral and founder of ChannelWhitsundays.com � broadcasting the Whitsundays to the world. Internet consultant since the start, 10 years of experience, an IT career and marketing savvy has rewarded this clients with a valuable return on investment.