Are you wasting valuable advertising dollars?

Are you wasting valuable advertising dollars?

September 29, 2017

“Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is, I don’t know which half.” – John Wanamaker, 1838-1922, merchant, religious and civic leader, political figure and marketing pioneer.

While John Wanamaker’s quote is nearly a century old, for many small business owners, the statement still resonates today because the more advertising options that appear on the horizon, the more confusion there seems to be.

However, smart and successful business owners not only know how to cut through the uncertainty of advertising opportunities by recognizing the trends that will take their company forward, but when the timing is right to transition to a new advertising technology platform.

Between 1900 and 2000, the world experienced several major paradigm shifts in where advertising dollars went. It started with newspapers and magazines, shifted to radio, shifted again to broadcast television and then again to cable television. By the turn of the 21st Century, the World Wide Web started capturing those dollars.

Today, we seem to have come full circle as the digital age is now the looming king of advertising dollars. A recent article in the Washington Post illustrated the major shift in advertising dollars from TV to digital platforms and TV executives who had once poked fun at predictions of gloom and doom are now paying close attention to digital platforms due to declining ratings and ad revenues. As one industry insider put it, the Web is “slowly but surely eating traditional TV.”

In the article, media analyst Michael Nathanson of Moffett Nathanson Research claimed that the online advertising increase was negatively impacting traditional TV. Nathanson forecasts a 3% annual decrease in TV advertising through 2020 and predicts that by 2017 online advertising spending will surpass TV.

Experts believe that because TV advertising takes a shotgun approach toward reaching specific advertisers, compared to online ads which target very specific segments, U.S. digital advertising will surge from $49.5 billion today to more than $100 billion by 2020.

What that means is over the next five years, online advertising is expected to increase annually by 12%, with most ads placed in online video, social networks and multimedia platforms that combine or leverage two or more advertising mediums.

A prime example of a multi-platform strategy would be a print publication that also has a large digital footprint. In these instances not only are the ads seen in traditional print, but they are seen online in a digital format that in most cases enable hot linking content, integrating mobile applications and/or incorporating videos.

As advertising opportunities continue to evolve, the smart and successful business owner will continue to evolve right along with it, ensuring that their valuable advertising dollars are not being wasted.

Now ask yourself, “Am I being smart?”