Engagement is the New Reach

- August 8, 2007

Have you ever imagined a time where the Internet would be more popular than Television? Well hold onto your seats, it looks like that time is near- at least when it comes to marketer’s media budgets. According to a recent article in MediaPost, Internet Ad spending is set to overtake all other media by 2011. 

For years, marketers have said that the best way to sell a product is to reach as many consumers as possible. Although reach is still important in today’s marketing world, engagement is the key – which is why marketers are turning more and more to the capabilities of the internet.  We would all like to imagine that the referees on the TV screen can hear us when we yell at them, but it is not true! Consumers cannot engage or participate with TV, radio, and/or print like they can with the Internet.

Consumers are busy! They gather their media information from different sources. The key to reaching and engaging a consumer is to figure out their daily media patterns. Do they listen to a morning radio show on the way to work, gather information on search engines during the day, view out-of-home billboards on their drive home, and then settle down for a primetime television show during dinner?

In the early 90’s consumers essentially had five major media options: television, radio, newspapers, magazines, and billboards. Today, consumers are faced with hundreds of media options: search engines, websites, e-mail, cell phones, podcasts, DVR/Tivo, transit, etc.  Consumers are overwhelmed by media choices and are therefore migrating away from ad-supported media and spending more time with consumer generated media such as podcasts,  Facebook applications, Myspace profiles, YouTube videos, etc.  They want what they want when they want it- especially in terms of the media they view. That is why search, behavioral targeting, and social media have exploded!

Now don’t get me wrong- I do not think TV, Radio, and Print are dead. No medium will disappear entirely, but each will have to learn how to adapt. There has been a huge shift from mass reach to targeted engagement. Consumers have taken control of both their entertainment options as well as their media options. 

So when you are building your CPC campaigns, creating a rich-media display banner, or executing video on a website, make sure that you are providing the consumer with content they want. It will be the only way to ensure that they are engaged enough to participate in your product and/or brand.

How are you engaging your consumer?

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