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by Lucy Griffiths on 9th May 2009
Businesses are suffering and none more so than those who depend on traditional advertising for their revenue. From newspapers to large commercial television stations, companies are in serious trouble. ITV, the UK’s first commercial television channel is currently £700 million in debt and has lowered its advertising rates to levels that compare back to 1992.
The world’s advertisers are spending less, not just a little less, a vast amount less. This is devastating for advertising agencies, marketing companies and of course, the media which has propped itself up on revenue gleaned from traditional forms of advertising.
Yet, against the flow of traditional advertising’s decline, online advertising has never been more successful. While the spend on traditional advertising has drastically dropped, online advertising has grown year on year. Perplexingly, companies are still throwing good money after bad at television advertising, yet this broadly targeted form of traditional offline advertising is completely outstripped by online advertising in price and precision in targeting potential customers.
The smart money is being spent online, but that won’t stop companies wasting millions on traditional advertising, hoping they can still hold back the wheels of progress.
Advertising online is cheap and it’s effective. That’s because the advertiser online pays for what they use. And they’re only charged when someone uses the advert, which means that they’re only charged when a potentially interested party clicks on the ad and follows it to their website.
So while the big companies mindlessly pour millions into ineffective advertising, small and medium businesses have tripled the amount they are spending on Internet advertising. It seems that small and medium businesses, companies that don’t have money to waste, are ahead of the big corporations in bucking the advertising trend.
When you advertise your product or service online, you get much greater control over the sales process than traditional advertising. This is one of the major advantages that online advertising has handed the advertiser, the power to accurately and instantly test how well the ad campaign is working. The other major advantage is the amount of qualified leads you get visiting your website than you could possibly hope to get from traditional advertising. Online advertising massively cuts down the ad-to-sale time to a matter of moments, increasing impulse buying in online consumers and measuring the entire process with analytical tools designed to help you get the most from your ads.
Online advertising isn’t restricted to just a few Google ads, you can advertise using video too. Viral videos have been one of the most effective (and free) ways to develop a buzz around a product or service. Take a look at ‘Will It Blend’ on YouTube. The original was a cheaply produced video that would have cost the company over a hundred thousand pounds per advert on television. Yet by making the advert funny and encouraging people to interact with the company via the online ad the company, BlendTec, got huge amounts of completely free publicity and their sales rocketed. They never had to pay for the adverts to run on television; television shows showed the advert for nothing because it was so different. Now that’s canny marketing!
Companies of all sizes can no longer afford to put their heads in the sand and hope the recession doesn’t bite too hard. Online advertising is the way forward, businesses must find a way to make it work for them, the alternative is to continue wasting money and hoping for results in an advertising market that has completely changed directions.