According to an article in Bloomberg News, Prime Time television viewership of the 2016 Olympics was down about 17% compared to the 2012 Olympics. The decline for 18-49 year-olds was down 25%.

Even though NBC charged about 50% more for advertising on their streaming Internet content, revenue was still down significantly from four years ago.

The bad news for advertisers is that their commercials were seen by far fewer people than was promised. The even worse news for NBC may be that they have spent a lot of money to get broadcast rights for the Olympics through 2032. Both advertisers and NBC are left with the question of what to do next.

Advertising in a Fragmented Media World

Broadcast media moguls debate how to package and disseminate content for a myriad of devices and technologies in order to maximize their audience and increase ad revenue. Meanwhile, business owners struggle to understand not only the new technologies but also the buying behaviors of today’s “fragmented” consumer. Both need to understand how the fundamentals have changed and will continue to change.

Advertising Then and Now

There was a time when a compelling television commercial put customers at the top of a “sales funnel.” Once their interest was piqued, they might contact the company or visit a store, where a sales person would overcome their objections and get them to buy.

Today, even people still watching TV are surfing the Web while they watch. An interesting commercial will most likely lead to an Internet search. And because of new technologies, competitors are now able retarget the consumer. Companies that have successfully optimized their online assets will most likely win the sale. This will be true regardless of who produced the original “interesting commercial.”

In the digital age, brands are no longer mere corporate assets to be leveraged, but communities of belief and purpose. (Forbes)

Building Communities

Larger companies may spend a lot of money developing apps, data management platforms and software development kits. However, existing Social Media platforms provide an effective and economical solution to the digital marketing puzzle for many companies. Social Media makes it possible to engage with consumers in a very personalized and real way. Finding the right Social Media Marketing Manager can help any company by fostering participation, responding quickly to comments, and providing useful and interesting information. In fact, the right Manager can show her clients how to retarget consumers, who have seen a competitor’s commercial.

Advice to Future You

If we have seen one thing over the last 16 years, it has been amazing leaps in technology and, more specifically, changes in the way we consume media and communicate with each other. Text messaging was released to the public in 2000. Google was released in 2004 and gave people new ways to “surf the net.” Facebook debuted in 2004; YouTube followed in 2005; and Twitter in 2006. Nintendo Wii was introduced in 2006 and allowed people to play games with each other, in real time, across the globe. The Internet-connected iPhone was introduced in 2007.

Consumers are “connected” as never before. They expect to instantly find the information they seek. They want to be able to converse with vendors about their potential purchases. They want answers to questions. They want to hear what others are saying about products. Many of these behaviors will evolve in unexpected ways in the future.

Smart companies will find ways to stay current on what their customers want and how they wish to interact with them. They will find marketing professionals, who stay current on new technologies and work to understand how people are consuming media and making purchasing decisions.

There is a line in a song in the play Oklahoma: “They’ve gone about as fur as they can go.” And each generation seems to believe that. The truth is that many new innovations in all areas of our society are currently in the minds of the next generation, and those innovations will be built upon by the ones after that.

Going, going gone – things in the Boomer/Generation X generation that were invented, used and are either gone, or will be very soon-

  • Dial-Up Internet
  • Wired Internet
  • VCRs
  • CD Players
  • DVD Players
  • Watching TV programs released at a specific time/day
  • Corded Landline Phones
  • Landline Phones
  • Corded Cable Television
  • Floppy Discs
  • Cassette Tapes
  • Vinyl Records
  • 8-Track Cassettes
  • Stand-Alone GPS units
  • Pagers

Add to the list, what do you see that will soon be gone, or is gone now…