Is the party finally over for print advertising?
Recently Yahoo! ran a three-page advertisementÂ in the August print edition of Wired Magazine. As I flipped through the magazine, three questions came to mind:
- Doesn’t advertising in a magazine contradict what Yahoo! stands for?
- Will this ad gain Yahoo! market share?
- How much did this cost?
An onlineÂ search engineÂ using offline advertising to promote the brand and ultimately adoption seems to be a flawed strategy. To start with, you are clearly not where your customers are…online.Â Someone forgot to tell Yahoo! itâ€™s about value not hype.
Expectations have changed.Â Engagement trumps disruption. In today’s business environment this rings even more true. Not one CEO in a room will say yes when asked, “do youÂ take cold calls from sales reps?”
People willÂ be interestedÂ in your product or service when the conversation is about them. Online tactics offer a mechanism for understandingÂ what people care aboutÂ in a way thatÂ advertising, direct mail or telemarketing never can. Its hard to post a comment on a magazine ad. Print advertising offers no value with respect to customer engagement.
But beware of the obvious trapâ€“ taking offline tactics and slapping them up online will not work. Direct mailÂ can’t masquerade asÂ email marketing and a corporate brochureÂ does not make a good website.
Think about the marketing tactics you are using today to drive leads to your business. Ask yourself these questions:
- Do they reflect where my ideal customer is going to look for a solution to a business problem and am I engaged in that conversation?
- Do these tactics support my value proposition or merely spew facts randomly at the market place?
- Are my tactics â€œabout me”Â or do they engage potential customers in a conversation about a business problem I can help solve?
If Yahoo! had asked themselves these questions, maybe their tactics would be different. But then again, maybe the ad perfectly reflects Yahoo!: Flash versus useful content. Too bad they donâ€™t realize their market share reflects who is paying attention.
If no one is paying attention to your marketing tactics, maybe itâ€™s time to put your ear to the ground and find out what your ideal customer cares about. I can guarantee itâ€™s not a three page magazine spread.