Is this a media shift or media expansion?


Everybody’s talking about shifts in media.  Offline to online.  You gotta be on Facebook.  Direct mail is dead.

I’m not so sure.  I still get (and often rely on) snail mail.  Yes, I’m using social media a lot more, but I still live in a very physical world.

This reminds me of a conference I attended a few years ago.  Big-budget marketers were in attendance, many of whom have relied on television advertising to build and maintain market share for their products.  They were concerned that television was “broken.” 

A speaker pointed out that television is, in fact, in fine shape.  More people are watching more TV than ever before.  But with the splintering of their attention across more and more channels, not to mention the expansion of digital video recorders, it’s television as an advertising medium that’s in trouble.  As a media channel that consumers enjoy, it’s just fine.

We’re enamored with Facebook and Twitter and the Web right now, and for good reasons.  But the physical world we live in isn’t going anywhere anytime soon, and there are (and always will be) plenty of marketing opportunities there.

Countless studies have also shown that we’re not necessarily shifting our media habits.  We’re increasing them.  We’re spending more time online, in front of the TV, and consuming other media combined than the total time we’ve spent consuming media in years past.

That means more eyeballs in front of more advertising opportunities more often.

We may not have completely cracked the nut in terms of how to best monetize this increasingly fractionalized media world.  But the opportunity is expanding – not just shifting, and definitely not shrinking.