Brave new world

Just reading an Outsell report on B2B media (subscription required – though highlights are available). The report charts the now familiar march from print to online and points to the continued rise of online advertising as an opportunity. The recommendations were:

  • Learn from disruptors beginning to tap the core human need to network;
  • Reclaim a share of advertisers self-marketing spend (62% is currently allocated this way!);
  • Increase the use of rich data and workflow performance solutions;
  • Re-tool for the brave new world of audience development.

This last one deserves a pull-quote:

The good news is that publishers can reach much larger and more dispersed audiences than were ever practical and profitable to reach in the print era. The bad news is that (a) reaching them requires new outlooks, new tools, and new skills; and (b) doing all this is a critically urgent prerequisite to success in the electronic era. Most publishers have changed the names and titles in their circulation departments to Audience Development, but not many have done the re-tooling required. Reaching qualified users worldwide, dynamically, on an ad-hoc basis, as their need arises, is very different from building a controlled circulation list. It is critical to know users’ demographics, workflows, and day-of-week and time-of-day behaviors, including what sites and pages users have come from and where they are going next. Advertisers pay premiums for highly receptive, opt-in users. This all requires tools, services, and analytical staff to follow users’ content consumption, response to ads and sponsors, and content purchases. To compound the difficulty, these are still new skills and experienced staff are hard to find, with some early success coming from hiring out of e-retailing, e-mail, and specialized SEO (search engine optimization) firms, supplemented with much on the job training.

Phew! Still some way to go….

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