How niche buying affects creatives

Discussing old and new media in my media buying class, my professor posed this question – what if we think about old and mew media not in terms of the actual media, but the behavior? What is old media behavior versus new media behavior? And how does that behavior affect media buying and creative pieces?

To me, it comes down to the involvement of the consumer. In old media behavior, a company or publication talks at the consumer. It creates material, whether an ad, an article or a broadcast, and presents it to the consumer. The consumer can read or watch passively, or ignore the material all together. In new media behavior, the line between creator and consumer is blurred, and there is an opportunity for interaction between the two. The creator of the media can be a media company, or an advertiser – but it doesn’t have to be. In new media behavior, anyone can create content – and anyone can interact with the content. A news article, blog post or YouTube video allows real-time comments and discussion from anyone who consumes that media.

So what does that mean? Well, in the context of media buying, I think it means a focus on more niche media buying – targeting consumers through behavior. People don’t want to interact with any kind of media unless it is relevant to them. You’ve heard the stats on the super bowl ads – according to a CNN article, CBS charged about $2.5 million for a 30-second spot in 2007. But with an audience of 90.7 million people, the cost per impression suddenly it seems like a bargain. And for large brands with a wide and diverse target market, these kinds of ads can be. But another factor in the cost spent is reaching the RIGHT people. If you are a cooking company and target random consumers, you might hit on some of them. But if you specifically target consumers searching for food related sites, or products, or who visit other cooking sites, you have a much better chance of that ad being relevant to them – and them clicking. In this case, the interaction comes from choosing to click the ad and view more about the company, but the logic can be applied to any kind of “advertisement.”

For someone who focuses on creating the actual advertisement, this means I need to not only study the research and find out who my customer is, but research the various sites and places where my advertisement appears and attempt to leverage that space in the most effective way (both visually and in messaging). It means my work will take longer and there will be more versions – but it’s also a more effective reach.

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