Is mass marketing dead?

By Stephen Rhodes

Is mass marketing dead?

TV and newspaper’s advertising  woes are largely the result of economic collapse, but  compounded by a seismic shift away from traditional media. The titans face bigger issues and  the faltering economy has simply hastened the evolution to more trusted, cost-effective and responsive message delivery system.

Certainly, the economy has forced businesses small and large to focus building their brand around their customer’s needs with targeted messages delivered across a range of trusted platforms. The key words here are targeted and trusted, something that doesn’t easily fit the mass media model.

Jamie Sturgeon’s piece on Shrinking TV in the  Financial Post says conventional TV in Canada is in turmoil, as advertising dollars have fallen with the recession and advertisers are looking to take advantage of emerging platforms in online and mobile media.

Winnipeg-based Canwest’s television asset are in creditor protection as the company restructures. CTV and public broadcaster CBC,  facing similar balance sheet pressure.

And while television still represents the largest part of major advertising budgets- CBS sold out the Super Bowl this week -online and mobile delivery are rapidly growing. Within three years, the mobile advertising market on devices such as smartphones — and now Apple Inc.’s new iPad–is forecast to grow to US$4-billion, said Michael Kelley, a partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers.

Sturgeon says that’s significant when one considers that in that same period, the entire ad spend in Canada across all platforms will only grow to $37-billion, according to PwC estimates, or less than 10 times that amount.

Mass media may not be dead yet, but the obituary is already written.

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