Volumes could be written about this, but at its basest, the argument is this. In pre-digital, the only way to reach considerable numbers of people direct was via advertising. Positioning and branding were heavily reliant on advertising; if you wanted to showcase the real you, be fun, be smart, use visuals etc. you would advertise. Now, in the digital age, you can reach your target direct; you can do all of the above without buying media space. What’s more, you can do so while engaging: hearing what people have to say and building relationships with people who matter. Is advertising obsolete? Of course not, but it’s not all-dominant and can’t stand alone anymore: it needs to be intertwined with relationship building. And that’s where traditional advertisers are struggling in the digital age (and incidentally, where smart PR companies are thriving.) Their age-old love it and leave it approach to campaigns hasn’t yet developed into one in which advertising and PR/stakeholder relations are integrated. That needs to happen if they’re to ensure long-term survival.
3 thoughts on “Why digital is killing traditional advertising (in one paragraph)”
Nice post, Steffen. I agree. Which makes Twitter’s decision to go with advertising all the more weird. I use Tweetie on my Mac desktop and never see the paid ads. Sure, they’re there but the ad revenue model seems a strange choice on their part.
Thanks Jon. I agree, but guess it’s testimony to how difficult it is to monetize even the most popular of tools. Presumaby the smart people at Twitter have been racking their mimds for years to think of how to best make some money back for their investors and all they’ve managed to come up with is an ad model which has failed before (Beacon?) Maybe there’s no other way.