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Eyeballs On The Move

For three consecutive years, consumers have spent more hours on the net than watching TV, reading print or listening to radio. The ‘Annual Internet and Technology Report’ revealed that consumers spend 16.1 hours per week online compared to 12.9 for TV, 8.8 for radio, 2.8 for newspaper and 2.0 for magazines in 2008. With the latest figures released by AC Nielson, we can safely say that traditional media has officially been dethroned as the entertainment king.

The web has been considered the most cost-efficient method of reaching customers. Now we can say it is the most popular also. More and more companies are shifting their advertising dollar online as consumers are searching in greater numbers than ever before.

Search engine Google declares growth month by month. Google Australia reported growth in enquiries of up to 50% for some categories during Dec/Jan 09 when compared to the same period the year prior. Average growth across all categories was an impressive 36%.

Meanwhile, free to air broadcasters have experienced multi-million dollar dives in profits and are writing their assets down as worthless. Channel 7, 9 and 10 are crippled by debt and funding problems in the face of declining advertising revenues and changing trends. Likewise, print media is experiencing huge decreases in both readership and advertising revenue. The Audit Bureau of Circulation figures reveal a 16.4% drop year on year due to less discretionary spending, a cluttered magazine market and consumer abandonment of the medium. News Limited, Fairfax Media, Pacific Magazines, APN News & Media and PBL Media have all reported losses into the millions. Traditional media is haemorrhaging at the hands of advertising migration online.

“Companies are realising they can reach consumers online in the best possible manner to achieve the right ROI,” said Karim Temsamani, Google Australia.
In its September 08 ‘Online Advertising Expenditure Report’, PriceWaterhouseCoopers revealed a 30% growth year on year for internet advertising which includes search. Industry growth is once again forecast for 09 despite economic downturn.

As companies focus on cost cutting, it is interesting to note the increase in the uptake of online marketing. The reason is three-fold. Firstly, the web is the most cost-effective advertising vehicle. Secondly, it is the most measurable and accountable with an increase in sophisticated data collection tools. Thirdly, it is direct, precise, relevant and highly targeted.

“The death of traditional media will come faster than anticipated, accelerated by the global economic meltdown and changing media consumption habits,” according to MySpace founder and AdKnowledge Chairman Brett Brewer.
Online budgets have increased to the detriment of traditional advertising. Marketers are shifting focus to search, viral marketing, online video and email marketing.

At this time, all businesses that have not already, should reassess their marketing plans and reassign their budgets.


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