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Madison Avenue, directly or indirectly, allocates nearly a trillion dollars in advertising budgets to influence consumers via media — but how much do the personal media habits and interests of industry pros influence the media they use to do that? It’s an old question that is taking on new impetus in the age of hyper-accelerated digital media change, and some new research indicates that the personal media habits of industry pros aren’t anything like that of the consumers they are charged with influencing.
The research, which was presented by the Media Behavior Institute Thursday night during MPG’s Collaborative Alliance session during Advertising Week, indicates that media pros are much more likely to be heavy users of digital media — particularly mobile and social — and are much less likely to use traditional media such as TV and radio than average consumers.
The study, which utilized a mobile app-based diary that a small, non-projectable sample of industry executives used to self-report their media usage during one day in their working life, compared their behavior with MBI’s ongoing USA TouchPoints study, which captures the same daily usage data among the general consumer population for 10-day periods.
While the data is based on a small sample, the findings are striking, because the media pros reporting were so dramatically different than average consumers — especially when it came to their use of Internet-connected computers and mobile devices.
Amazingly, the media pros spent 53% of their waking day interacting with email, versus 20% for the general population, and they spent 28% accessing the Internet versus 15% for average consumers. Their use of mobile apps and social networks was similarly distorted, which may go a long way toward explaining Madison Avenue’s obsession with those media platforms.
Brands are increasingly paying for ‘Likes’, followers and reviews, and despite the risks associated with this activity and the questionable efficacy of the tactic, there may be a logical reason for it. That reason: according to Nielsen, consumers trust earned media, such as recommendations from friends and online reviews, far more than they do paid media.
That may not be surprising, but the trust gap may be more significant than many brand marketers would like to believe: while 92% of those surveyed indicated that they trust personal recommendations, and 70% indicated that they trust reviews, most forms of traditional and digital paid media are not trusted by more than half of consumers. Television ads fell just short of the 50% mark, with 47% of those polled stating that they trust TV commercials, while digital’s newest darling, mobile, fell far short.
Nielsen’s Global Head of Advertiser Solutions, Randall Beard, writes: Since trust in advertising lays along continuum that moves from earned (highest trust), to owned, then paid (lowest trust), it stands to reason that brands should want more earned and owned. But can paid be given up completely? For most brands, that strategy isn’t really feasible given both the broad reach and historical success associated with paid media. So what’s the answer? Beard suggests that “we need to start thinking of how paid, owned and earned can work together to improve trust and deliver better results.”
Following a four-year effort in the incredibly lucrative TV ad business, Google has decided to pull the plug. Traditional TV ads are out – going forward Google plans to focus exclusively on digital. Google has now tried and failed to disrupt the traditional advertising business in print, radio and television. In part, Google’s TV effort was slow to attract new advertisers and more partners to the platform.
“Video is increasingly going digital and users are now watching across numerous devices. So we’ve made the hard decision to close our TV Ads product over the next few months,” Shishir Mehrotra, VP of product at YouTube and video at Google, wrote in a blog post. “We’ll be doubling down on video solutions for our clients (like YouTube, AdWords for Video, and ad serving tools for web video publishers). We also see opportunities to help users access web content on their TV screens, through products like Google TV.”
“The [satellite] and cable operators have excess unsold inventory so it was partially an experiment,” said Derek Baine, senior analyst at SNL Kagan. But Google had a much bigger target than just TV ad sales – it wanted to compete with Nielsen on ratings.
Mobile media has become a critical part of the digital marketing landscape. This isn’t to say that it hasn’t been valuable up until this point – many media buyers will be quick to tell you they’ve had great success with mobile for years. Not until this year, however, does it feel as though mobile is something businesses can no longer afford to overlook.
Why now? In short, we’re running out of time. As with every new media channel mastering mobile isn’t without its share of challenges, but unlike other mediums, mobile doesn’t afford us the luxury of time to figure things out. Earlier this year location software company Yext released an infographic that went a long way toward describing the urgency marketers should be feeling.
• It took 38 years for radio to reach an audience of 50 million consumers, 13 years for television, four years for the Internet, and just two years for the Apple iPhone.
• There are now 5 billion mobile users worldwide – five times more than PC-based Internet users.
• As of last year consumers spend more time interacting with mobile apps than they do on the web, and the average consumer carries a smartphone 23 hours per day.
• Mobile advertising is expected to hit $3 billion by the end of this year.
Nielsen has launched its Innovation Lab, a program to spur ideas and advancements in advertising effectiveness, and it’s looking for help from all. While Stanford Graduate School of Business is the first collaborator, Nielsen wants input from the industry, said Scott McKinley, Executive Vice President, Advertising Effectiveness, Nielsen.
“We will absolutely be working with all the parties at the table, particularly networks” he said. “While we’ve enjoyed decades of relatively stable, trusted measures for reach in television, [it] could be improved by figuring out outcome metrics for television so that an advertiser can understand how a television buy impacts sales. Television, let’s face it, is absolutely the biggest allocation of dollars today and as the measurement improves for digital there is pressure on TV to come up to par with where digital is going.”
The Lab’s main project is “solving the question of cross media advertising effectiveness,” according to McKinley. Other areas of import include studying advertising effectiveness for mobile.
When it comes to the advertising medium they find most influential in making a purchase decision, American adults are far more likely to point to TV (37.2%) than any other, including newspapers (10.6%), the internet (5.6%), and magazines (4.4%), per results from a TVB study released in June 2012. This result aligns with April research from ExactTarget, which analyzed the attitudes of online consumers to various advertising media, finding 53% reporting that a TV ad had influenced them to purchase a product or service in the past 12 months, a far larger proportion than could say the same about newspaper ads (32%) and magazine ads (30%).
New data out from Brightroll indicates more video advertisers are seeing the benefits of digital – so much so that more money is being taken from television/cable ad budgets and placed in the digital video space. According to the US Video Advertising Report 64% of advertisers believe online video is at least as important as television, citing targeting abilities and video reach as the impetus behind their ad choices.
“This year’s survey results signal a shift in the video viewerscape as more advertisers move their budgets to digital media to reach audiences where they are increasingly engaged – across the four screens,” said Tod Sacerdoti, CEO and founder of BrightRoll. “However, a gap in understanding success metrics for digital video campaigns exists. The report reveals a pressing need to educate the industry and create standard measurements to accelerate advertiser adoption and the growth of digital video