| NAA mediaXchange is the largest annual gathering of industry executives in North America, offering unprecedented networking opportunities that combine an exchange of information and ideas with programming designed to generate results. The conference is designed to provide valuable ideas and insights to help newspaper professionals grow audience and revenue for their print and digital products. Sessions highlight leading-edge thinking about media strategies, successes in product and revenue development, new ideas and innovation inside and outside the industry, and tactics and techniques to employ in print and digital.
Monahan on future of advertising: ‘The newspaper has the influencers’ - #NAAmXc11
By Lisa Collins
Brian Monahan, managing partner of IPG Emerging Media Lab, shared insights about consumer behavior, new technologies and how publishers can better explore the industry's potential in the "Future of Advertising" session.
"The pace of change is only accelerating. There is no end in sight," he said.
Media behavior is changing rapidly and consumers are moving toward "total mediation," meaning that mobile usage throughout the day is becoming nearly constant.
"We have a joke in the lab. If the Rotarians eradicated polio, Silicon Valley has eradicated boredom. There are no dead zones in your life," said Monahan, former head of social media at IPG's Universal McCann.
This constant access to information has dramatically changed the purchase decision-making process. The average number of sources consulted before buying has drastically increased, even for low-involvement purchases such as groceries.
This shift in how people use technology means a change in how they want to interact with advertising. Because they access technology to get what they want when they want it, the interruptive ad unit only gets in the way.
The percentage of brands consumers view as trustworthy dropped by 52 percent between 1997 and 2006, according to a Young & Rubicam study published in "The Brand Bubble: The Looming Crisis in Brand Value and How to Avoid It" by John Gerzema and Ed LeBar. Monahan said he believes this is because brands annoy their consumers.
The model of advertising budget allocation has traditionally revolved around repetition to reach an effective frequency. As media have fragmented, consumers are being repeatedly exposed to messages. As a result, brands make less of an impact.
Monahan said that in 2009, the increasing popularity of social networks such as Facebook and Twitter revolutionized the way people connect with each other. In 2010, people rather than places became digitized as users started checking in and sharing locations. The year 2011, Monahan said, will be when things themselves go digital.
And mobile is no longer a trend, Monahan said. More smartphones were shipped in the last year than PCs.
"It is becoming the more prevalent screen," he said.
The future is in the integration of social media, location-based technology and mobile technology: "SoLoMo."
"You can't go in to a hipster bar in LA without meeting some bright young kid who's got a startup having to do with SoLoMo," Monahan said.
Another trend he mentioned is "gameification," meaning that games are no longer just for kids. Marketers take gaming principles, such as earning currency, and integrate them into brand experience.
Monahan said he sees spending interest moving toward local. However, the definition is changing. Local marketing used to be associated with physical household ZIP codes. With constant GPS transmission and the formation of virtual neighborhoods, the idea of targeting neighborhoods has changed.
Marketers are constantly searching for the influencers in a neighborhood, he said.
"Well, I think the newspaper has the influencers. They're the talent. They're the people you have to read every morning."
Publishers are getting smarter about how to associate brand messages with key influencers, he said.
Monahan concluded the session with four requests for the newspaper industry:
- Sell increased market share.
- Develop new commercial metrics.
- Lock arms to scale.
- Change the story.
His last request concerned an attitude shift. He urged publishers to promote their status as trusted media brands to advertisers and unlock the potential of the most influential people in communication.
Lisa Collins is a student at Southern Methodist University in Dallas. Find out more about Lisa and other students reporting live from NAA's mediaXchange here.
Mar 27 2011, 06:52 PM
About Amanda Knowles
Amanda Knowles is Web & Social Media Manager at the Newspaper Association of America. Before coming to NAA, Amanda spent four years working in print journalism, both at the college and professional level. She has worked as a copy editor and news page designer for two daily newspapers in northwestern Pennsylvania, The Erie Times-News and The Meadville Tribune. Most recently, she collaborated on The American Observer, the online magazine edited and produced by graduate journalism students at American University in Washington, D.C. Amanda believes strongly in the secure future of the newspaper, and is excited to be a participant in the movement to integrate traditional print media into the burgeoning digital world.