At a time where rumors are ripe that a lot of print titles will close down this year, here’s one observation that traditional publishers should look into. One of the most puzzling disconnects in publishing and digital advertising is the disproportion between the lack of effort of traditional media covering consumer technology and rising digital budgets being thrown towards the beat.
As early as 2014, local telecom companies announced their shift in advertising budgets, cutting down print and out-of-home in favor of digital. Media buyers also know that apart from multinationals and pharmaceutical companies, consumer tech (electronics, phones, etc) is on the rise in advertising spend and they’re investing heavily on digital. So far the only ones who’ve been able to effectively ride this wave are independent publishers and bloggers. A lot of traditional media outlets cover the beat on print and they just re-post the press release (with minor changes) on their websites. This pales in comparison to the multimedia and realtime content barrage of top bloggers and digital publishers.
“What made you successful today is not what will make you successful in the future.”
When you desperately cling on to your core business (and protect it from yourself at all cost) and don’t innovate relentlessly on a bet for the future, you get disrupted and left behind.
What Consumer Tech Advertisers Want
Here’s a quick list of what consumer technology companies want from their digital budgets:
- Video Content Production — partners to create advertorials and video features on their events and products.
- Banner Ads — yes, a lot of them still want it even though it’s grossly ineffective in the age of social.
- Real Time Coverage — using Instagram (Stories), Twitter, and Facebook Live to expand the reach of their physical event.
- Analytics — give them whatever available data that can show effectiveness for the campaign. Explore affiliate sales because I personally feel that’s the future.
Lastly they shouldn’t price themselves out of the market. A lot of traditional publishers who tried to make this shift last year failed because they were changing insane prices for their offerings. They should talk to their media buyers and clients so they can get a REALISTIC feel for the right pricing model so that they’re in the best position to sell well when they launch.
It’s a very different business model from just selling ads on newspapers or magazines. Traditional media companies should build their capabilities against the list above and go to market with digital content-as-a-service. The good news is that the list above applies to all other digital advertiser verticals (not just consumer tech). If a publisher has it already they can quickly generate incremental revenues by offering it to their existing clients across various industries.
For a no nonsense and practical read on how to launch disruptive projects, I suggest you read this article we published a few days ago: A No Nonsense and Practical Approach to Self-Disruption and Digital Transformation.
Disclosure: I co-founded a tech blog and work for a telecom company.