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Stuck in the 80's

Wall Street was on the big screen. Big hair bands were on the music scene. And traditional media ruled. Fast forward to 2010 and oh what a difference a few decades make. I lived the traditional media craze. If you had the numbers you had the advertisers – big business, government, franchises, retailers – everyone was clambering (will not quite clambering) but certainly willing to hear your story and pay your prices to have their message reach the masses.

A funny thing happened when technology i.e., the internet came on the scene. No longer were you forced to love what the majority loves; you had options. Think 70’s television – 3 networks – prime time, a hit show –bingo you’ve reached 70% of America. Try to reach that same audience today – with over 100 television stations and a myriad of entertainment options – prime time television ain’t what it used to be – your cost would be through the roof.

So what does this mean to business/advertisers? If your media plan hasn’t changed a lot you’re missing a ton of opportunities. I know of a restaurant that funneled a good chunk of their ad dollars into the yellow pages – not on line yellow pages – traditional phone book yellow pages. Unfamiliar with google ad words they were skeptical that the internet could actually bring in customers and astounded that you don’t pay unless people click and view. Six months later with a new website, a Facebook fan club, an e-newsletter and Google ads the web is out performing their traditional media in leaps and bounds. They’re attracting customers from a much wider geography and customers are dining there more often.

Don’t get me wrong I’m not suggesting you ditch all of your traditional media. I am suggesting you get really clear on your target market or as my friend Marty refers to it your “unique buying tribe” and connect with them where they hang out so to speak. You wouldn’t think of wearing big shoulder pads with a bad perm and a matching suit and earrings – think Working Girl (if you’re female) or donning a pink tie and puff (if you’re male or of course Donald Trump) today so why would you stick with the same advertising strategies? Fashion and advertising in 2010 is very different and hopefully more ah tasteful.

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