Trylon Communications  - August 2004

Cause and Effect

Advertising dollars are actively searching for a place to go. With the economy apparently on the upswing, consumer confidence rising and media opportunities fragmenting, advertisers face a large quandary over where to put their messages. Marketing executives are finally recognizing that throwing money at product launches won’t make them fly. Instead, reaching consumers effectively is increasingly important.

A recent article in The Economist discussed the problems marketers are facing (The Harder Hard Sell, June 24, 2004.) The magazine found that most consumers feel bombarded with advertising and are avoiding it by turning to new media and technologies.

At the same time, media use is up, with subscriptions and other fees paid by consumers to access content passing advertising as media’s top revenue stream. A recent report by Price Waterhouse Coopers (view abstract) projects a compound annual revenue growth rate of 6.3 percent over the next four years. Much of that growth is expected to take place in Internet and gaming – sectors that didn’t even exist a decade ago.

Consumers are gaining greater control over media consumption – for example, they can get their news via television, newspaper, radio or Internet. On the Web, they can choose from traditional sources or from dozens of quasi-news sites such as Web logs. Entertainment can come from game consoles, DVDs, CDs, mp3s, movie theaters, TV, radio, the Internet…and on and on.

So how do marketers speak to the right people, with the right message, at the right time? One way is to use a strong and comprehensive public relations campaign. Articles written by third parties about your company provide both strong messaging and credibility to your target audience.