Targeting vs. Delivery

Dick Reed over at Just Media recently ran a blog post that examined the changes in advertising spending for the top 50 technology companies from 2006 to 2007. The shift in spend works out as follows: TV down 6%, newspapers down 31% , magazines down 25%, B2B press down 16%, outdoor up 45%, radio down 10%, internet up 20%. The overall shift in spending numbers is not surprising, pretty much everyone is being more cautious these days. The figures for internet advertising are as expected (factoring in the zillions that continue to fall into Google’s pockets) The outdoor advertising number is pretty interesting, but primarily reflects new technology being applied to a very old medium (having said that, the digital billboards are pretty cool, even if I can only look at them for 2 seconds).

The real issue for advertising spending is not the delivery vehicle per se as much as the targeting capability. A really great ad that reaches a million people who aren’t interested makes money for everyone except the client. The less sexy but more useful component of this is taking the underlying database of targets and running behavior and demographic cross-references. You could even take it a step further and apply predictive analytics, which would let you anticipate what the consumer wants even before they know it (sort of like a more sophisticated form of collaborative filtering). At any rate, hopefully the numbers Dick put up will start to head north soon, there’s a few leading indicators this may start happening.

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