The Shift to Digital Continues

Depending on your point of view, it was much simpler for a business to get its message out to the general public 50 years ago.

Just think about how much media has shifted in the last 50 years, let alone just the past 10 years. Whereas newspapers and print media used to dominate the marketing scene, these outlets now rank significantly lower among where companies are marketing their business.

How can one keep up with the changing markets?

During a presentation on January 25 by Winterberry Group Vice President Alex Sheidler, who oversees the firm’s analyst team as well as the research and creation of deliverables for the firm’s consulting practice, discussed some of the shifts in data-driven marketing in front of an eager audience at an event organized by the Social Media Association and PRPLI (Public Relations Professional of Long Island) at Blue Ocean Wealth Solutions in East Hills.

Following a breakfast and networking, Sheidler spoke about some of these ever-changing shifts.

For example, his presentation showed a 10.9 percent decrease in media spending in newspapers to $12.2 billion and 14.8 percent decrease in magazines to $12.7 billion in 2017. Scheidler and his group expected to see a decline in these mediums, but the fall was even more drastic than they predicted. Even television declined by 0.85 percent to $69.7 billion.

It should come to no surprise that the most drastic increase came over the Internet, as more people subscribe for video streaming sites such as Netflix and Hulu daily and rely more on their Email than traditional mail.

And don’t expect this to change any time soon.

With the general public shopping more online now than ever before and that number increasing every year, online marketing is the logical next step. Sheidler’s presentation showed that of 215 million digital shoppers, 80 percent of U.S. buyers shop online, with 70 percent buying online. Amazon, which now has produced its own smart products and even sells groceries and original clothing, dominated the online market, generating $196.8 billion in eCommerence revenue, which was 43.5 percent of the overall eCommerce spending.

But now what does this all mean? What’s next for traditional media spending? Will print media just continue to decline? Will everything become digital?

Well, the Winterberry Group has an outlook 2018 ready to go.

They predict a continue in the decline of newspapers and magazines, but not as drastic as last year, with a decrease of 9.8 and 6.3 percent, respectively. They also expect television to climb back up, by 1.1 percent, but the biggest increase  — unsurprisingly — comes again via the Internet.

The group predicts a 15.2 percent increase is total U.S digital media spending, to $101 billion and a U.S data spending in support of offline, Email and display to increase by 5.7 percent to $16.5 billion.

Overall, it should come as no surprise that online marketing is increasing as the reach is far greater than print or even television could ever provide.

Now businesses have more options. Advertisers used to be able to just go to their local or most powerful newspaper and take out an ad. Now there’s millions of websites, new social media platforms, television stations, radios, movies, along with traditional print options. Just researching alone the best marketing options can be tiresome.

But it’s worth the time to learn where others are investing their marketing resources, and figuring out if that’s the best for your business as well. With new Internet and social media markets emerging monthly, there are plenty of creative minds looking to find the next Facebook, which overtook MySpace, and Snapchat, which before was just people sending photos to one another over basic text messaging.

And regardless of what that new platform is, the marketing opportunities will be endless and businesses should keep a close eye as to where the greatest returns on marketing investment can be found.

Spoiler alert: It probably won’t come in a newspaper. – Owen O’Brien

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