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Traditional Media Prospers from Status-Quo Marketing


There are numerous proven alternatives for marketers to reach and engage their target stakeholders in the marketplace, yet many still choose to invest their marketing budget primarily in traditional media -- regardless of the underwhelming results.

What's the forward-looking trend for U.S. advertising spending, and is that insight likely to influence the behavior of those schooled in legacy marketing methods? Will status-quo marketing practices prevail?

eMarketer reports that after plunging by 18.5 percent in 2009, ad spending on traditional media is on a slow rebound. They estimate spending was up 2.1 percent in 2010, to $127.2 billion.

But rather than making a true recovery, spending is forecast to fluctuate in coming years, hovering under $130 billion through 2015 -- far from the $165.94 billion recorded in 2007.

"As advertiser spending continues to more closely reflect the amount of attention consumers give to individual media, each will fare differently," said Nicole Perrin, eMarketer senior editor.

For example, TV and radio are holding on to their audience, and eMarketer forecasts advertising gains for both -- unlike for print media.

TV viewing still has more time per day for the average consumer than any other medium. eMarketer estimates adults spend 4 hours, 24 minutes watching TV and offline video daily, vs. 2 hours, 35 minutes online.

And, TV has kept its share of total daily media time at around 40 percent. However, recent U.S. consumer surveys continue to highlight how most people consistently ignore or tune-out advertising messages. Meaning, the U.S. TV viewership trend clearly doesn't equate to actual advertising impressions.

While online video viewing has been on the rise, about 70 percent of the U.S. adult population still does not watch any full-length television programming on the internet. eMarketer believes those that do tend to prefer traditional TV viewing when possible.

As the viewing audience has kept its attention fixed on TV, so have advertisers continued to make it their greatest spending priority -- again, regardless of the reported advert-avoidance phenomenon.

eMarketer estimates TV spending will continue to rise this year after nearly double-digit growth in 2010. The presidential election and Summer Olympics in 2012 will give it a further boost, growing 6.6 percent to $64.5 billion next year.

Meanwhile, print media and telephone directories will continue to lose money as consumers shift their attention to the web. As newspapers and magazines work out online revenue models, traditional yellow-pages face potential obsolescence as they are replaced by online search -- even among older segments of the population.

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