It has been an element of faith that the days of print advertising were ending and we’d all be making our advertising and promotion buys online. I still expect print to be in a long term decline, but I just read a pretty persuasive article that talks about the decline of online advertising and the reasons for it.
The article is an analysis of the online market as a justification for why you should consider shorting Google (Alphabet), but that’s not why I’m sending it to you. Just to be clear, I don’t own the stock and am not short it.
Here are my takeaways from the article. You may find you have different ones.
- The quality of online advertising is declining.
- It’s increasingly hard to know what value you’re getting for your money.
- There’s a reasonable chance you’re not getting what you’re paying for, and it may involve intentional fraud.
- An increasing number of people (including me) are fed up with intrusive ads and (especially for me) videos that you can’t stop and are using ad blockers.
Assuming the article and its prognostications are accurate, what does it suggest? Certainly not going back to print. But it does suggest you have to press the right people to demonstrate the value of your online ad buys (which is zero if your target customer is using an ad blocker. Wonder if you get charged anyway). And it also suggests to me an even greater importance to connecting with your customers on social media, listening to them, and following their lead.