Are Print Readers More Valuable than Digital?
A couple of reports have caught my attention this year with the latest, produced by the boys over at Enders Analysis, making the remarkable claim that print media readers are currently four times more valuable than their digital counterparts.
This got me thinking about my chosen profession in a rather pessimistic light. Are we really so bad at digital marketing? How can we explain these troubling stats?
Well, the short answer is that we're actually pretty good. Apologies if that seems a tad egocentric, but it's true and is backed up by the fact that an E-consultancy report earlier this year showed that, on average, 46% of companies are increasing their digital marketing budgets in 2010 and digital accounts for 23% of all marketing spend. Those aren't small figures, and if there wasn't much value coming out of it, then there would be plenty of marketing execs defaulting on their mortgage payments right about now.
Comparing ROI of traditional media vs. digital is actually a pretty futile activity the more you think about it. Of course traditional is currently a more valuable medium; we've been doing it for long enough that we should be pretty good at it, whereas digital marketing suffers from the fact that it can be difficult to determine an accurate ROI in the first place.
The better we get at measuring value from online marketing, the more valuable it will become. The majority of consumers still recognize TV and newspapers to be the leading advertising mediums, but this will inevitably change as online marketing becomes more direct response oriented rather than relying on search ads and remarketing strategies. In the meantime, digital marketers should get to work on improving their demonstrable return on investment by getting serious with Google Analytics and proving that they’re worth their salt.