by April Sciacchitano (@aprilcs)
According to new Nielsen research, television viewing time is down, while Internet use increases. This news is supporting something we’ve all suspected – DVR users are skipping ads or using ad time to bounce their attention to the Internet.
In addition to Nielsen viewers watching less TV, some are dropping it altogether. These “cord cutters” – a group I joined last fall – are people replacing cable service in favor of online viewing. It’s growing in popularity among Millennials, and for the generation right behind them, cable may go the way of the “land line” phone and become an option, instead of a must.
What does this trend tell us? Marketing pros need more sophisticated online advertising plans that support their social strategy. “Dipping your toes” in social media isn’t enough, and integrated campaigns need to be part of a concerted online effort. In addition, we need to recalibrate our thinking about advertising measurement. Online advertising allows you to track click-throughs and provides us hard numbers instead of the “impressions” of traditional advertising. While the numbers may seem less impressive, they’re meaningful.
It’s hard to say where the tipping point is to shift your ad dollars from traditional media buys to online media buys and social campaigns – but the technology for streaming and sharing is going more mainstream. Hulu, Roku, Netflix, YouTube and Google “Hangout” are providing practical, interesting and more social alternatives to TV. They also provide a targeted way to reach the younger generations.
It also makes a difference that online content is getting better. YouTube’s legions of singer/songwriters are not all the web has to offer. Compelling content that can compete with TV is being created. For example, Vice produces edgy documentaries that are high-quality, and bypasses television’s burden of populating 24 hours in content and syndication
And here’s the top reason now is the time to embrace online TV: Apple and Google have something up their sleeves. The market is ready – and the right platform could make us all cord-cutters.
Meanwhile, take action in the marketing department to refocus online strategies. The right time to take a social trend seriously is before what you’re doing now stops working. Don’t wait until your TV spots are irrelevant to boost your online advertising and engagement.