Developing digital media is an opportunity to help advertisers, particularly small and medium-size businesses. That was the message that Gordon Borrell, a media consultant from Williamsburg, Va., delivered at a seminar, Thursday, Nov. 7, at the University of Kansas, Lawrence.
The KU School of Journalism, the Kansas Newspaper Foundation and the Montgomery Family Foundation sponsored the seminar.
“Most small-business owners are too busy running their companies to be true marketing experts,” Borrell said. “It is important for the small business to consult another small business to help.” He said simply having a website won’t do much good.
Borrell said that simply having a website isn’t enough.
“Check it out with a smartphone or tablet, a method many consumers use today. If the site doesn’t look good, the customer won’t return.”
Borrell said that an ad doesn’t work overnight, so give it a chance to take hold.
The statistics, according to Borrell, show that digital marketing leads advertising spending in the Greater Kansas City region (the 36 counties in northeast Kansas and northwest Missouri) with about $256 million during the last year. Newspaper advertising spending came in second at about $193.7 million. Total advertising spending for the past year was slightly more than $1 billion. There is an additional $2.5 billion being spent in the area on digital services during the last year.
“The number one piece of information a company can collect from a customer is an email address.” Borrell said. “It allows powerful one-on-one communications and people are 60 percent more likely to read their emails than go online.
“One hundred years ago, newspapers, magazines, and outdoor signs were a person’s only advertising options,” Borrell said. He said radio and television joined later and today we have the Internet and mobile ads.
Borrell said it took television more than 15 years—after 1948-- before it was profitable. It was important to understand that selling television advertising was a unique medium and had to be treated accordingly to be effective. The same is true of digital advertising, he said.
”No medium has ever been killed off by an old one,” he said. “It is an opportunity for innovative people to do something differently.”
Borrell said that interest in newspaper investments by such persons as Warren Buffett shows that they have value. Others may argue however, that Buffett made his move after the newspapers were substantially reduced in price.
The advance of advertising messages on a smartphone make it important to have a message on a website that is also compatible on a smaller smartphone screen, Borrell said.
Borrell said one of the chief advantages of digital advertising is that it doesn’t have to be wrapped around a news or programming product. That means the media message can be designed to get attention, he said.
Murrel Bland is the former editor of The Wyandotte West and The Piper Press. He is the executive director of Business West.