Monday, August 13, 2012

In The Rush To Digital, Leave Room For Those Who Still Like Print

In an era where much of media mix is going digital, what is the best way to build brand awareness? I bring this up because many have been shifting more media dollars online. And, I believe it's a mistake to assume those who buy B2B products get all their information online. Just because it's a trendy thing to do, does it necessarily work?

Many B2B advertisers tend to think click-through rates mean something, and that a higher click-through rate means a better online site and a better ad. It's the measurement fallacy: people tend to think that what they can measure is what they want, just because they can measure it. And it's endemic in the online advertising industry.

Why would an advertiser risk missing so many prospects by going mostly or exclusively online? It is a strategy that can lead to lower brand awareness, a result from a few factors: pressure to be modern in a media buy; wrong assumptions that prospects have stopped reading magazines; and the belief that brand awareness can be achieved online.

While there are many magazines serving the manufacturing sector, most prospects read just a handful. Conversely, there are millions of Internet sites to visit. Most prospects visit dozens but don't stay long.

I have yet to see a more effective medium that magazines for telling a story and introducing a new product or brand. Online ads should play a key role in a brand's media plan. But not mostly or exclusively.

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To share common sense lessons learned with 40-plus years experience in marketing, sales and as a B2B publisher.