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How the Ad Industry is Preparing for a Digital Future

Recently Mashable covered five ways the ad industry is prepping for a digital tomorrow.  Drawing from their piece, I’m going to cover two that have most relevance for broadcasters and their clients.

What they all have in common is this:  It’s about more than spots and it’s about more than reach.

1. A New Wave of Experiential Marketing

Writes Mashable:

Few brands have committed to experiential marketing more than Nike, which has had a 55% drop in television advertising spending over the past 10 years. They filled the void by sponsoring over 200 club teams, offering revolutionary mobile technology for runners and creating over 10,000 pieces of original content.

As clients awaken to the power of experiences to drive their marketing and enrich their relationships with current and potential customers, who will create and nurture those experiences? While it may be the clients themselves (or their agencies), there is no experience that can’t be strengthened when built on the backbone of radio.  Assuming broadcasters view this as part of their fundamental business model.

Experiences have long been part of the radio equation, and now more than ever they will move center stage.

2. Content, not Ads


Coke is vastly increasing its investment in many varieties of content production to help drive conversation and increase its popular culture relevance. AOL president Tim Armstrong and Huffington Post founder Ariana Huffington also spoke at length about the vital importance of ad content. Former Googler Tim Armstrong referenced the importance of creating unique content rather than simply optimizing traditional ads to perform better against technology algorithms. Throughout the conference, it was consistently noted that today’s on-demand media consumption habits require brands to create content that people choose to watch (and share), rather than pushing unwanted commercials on its audience.

(As you watch the Coke video below, click the keyhole bottles to unlock secrets)

Advertising is becoming content, not message. Or, more specifically, the message is knit into the content.  Under that scenario there is no 30-second spot per se, there are simply threads of advertising-sponsored content.

Creating “content that people choose to watch (and share)” (and listen to) is the job of every company that calls itself “media.”  This goes to the heart of radio’s revenue model because it is clearly out of step with the direction of clients and their agencies.

As Tom Asacker has long argued, at the heart of media is the “idea,” and that idea – the one that links consumers to clients – is manifested as content.

This is why the structure of so much of radio is outdated.  We have sellers who move spots and programmers who mix music.  What we need amongst these are content creators who match consumers with clients in the presence of our brands by bringing compelling ideas to life.

That is the new world of “radio” “advertising.”

And the fact that both words must live within quotation marks speaks volumes.

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