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Companies that publish print media such as newspapers, magazines, and direct mail; that broadcast radio and television programs; and that control billboards located on public thoroughfares, have long operated by a simple formula: they built audiences for their media content. Advertisers bought space in printed publications and on billboards, and air time on broadcast media, to reach those audiences. The reality that most of these so-called traditional media outlets are, if not dead, then
surely dying, will likely come as no surprise to readers of this report. The demise of traditional media is occurring for three main reasons:
1. The readers, listeners, and viewers upon whom traditional media depended have moved to digital sources—more specifically, digital mobile—for their news and entertainment. Instead of looking at traditional media, consumers and business users alike are looking at their smartphones.
2. Advertisers have been finding it increasingly difficult to justify rising advertising expenditures, given the difficulty in quantifying, with any degree of accuracy, the impact of an ad placed in traditional media on either sales or brand image.
3. Significantly, and a point that drives the core analysis contained in this report: advertising placed in traditional media is based on one-way, outbound mass marketing, and does not allow for interaction with those who are the targets of the advertising. This leaves brands “talking at” consumers.
With the migration of users to mobile, brands naturally want to follow. However, simply moving their advertising budgets to mobile is no guarantee
of success. Mobile ads are a valiant attempt to reach mobile consumers, but they are still part of the glut of advertising messages fighting for eyeballs and mindshare. The most visible ads, display ads, are incredibly ineffective for brands, with a click-through rate of one-tenth of one percent; and it is hard to be certain which clicks hold real value: up to % of clicks on mobile banner ads are accidental.
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