Are we witnessing “the end of advertising as we’ve known it”?
According to industry expert Steve Gray, yes indeed. While he apologizes for his hyperbole, he goes on to say, “We need to realize that we’re witnessing the end of advertising as we’ve known it. Not this year, not next year, but over a period of not very many years.”
Grey’s recent article on INMA.org pulls no punches in reporting the local advertising spending forecasts from Borrell Associates. (Local ad spending being defined as dollars spent within a market to reach people in that same market. It does not include national spending.)
Traditional advertising channels appear stable, according to Grey, while digital spending predictions shoot up in yearly leaps that almost blow off the top of the chart.
And the ads most likely to fill those slots are highly targeted display ads, shown in a just-in-time environment thanks to judicial use of Big Data.
It’s a tectonic shift from the mass market advertising done in the past, and he’s right to point out the difference.
For those of us willing to listen past the scary parts, Grey comes up with an interesting solution for locally-based ad sellers like newspapers.
“We have a choice: Fight on with our present set of solutions, or move as fast as we can to become the leading local sellers of the very best digital solutions available,” says Grey.
“We need to sustain our revenues from ‘advertising as we’ve always known it,’ even as we create entirely new capabilities that enable us to be dominant sellers of advertising as we’ve never known it before,” he explains.
Sage advice from someone who’s seen a lifetime’s worth of rollercoaster rides in this industry.