I’m leaning toward “yes”.
I have to admit I have been binge watching TV for the past six months or so. It all started with Breaking Bad. My wife and I bought our oldest son a DVD set through season three, and we decided to check it out after he was finished. Those DVDs are cunning. The next episode played automatically, not giving me a chance to think about only watching one. It was my free sample.
We went through three seasons at lightning speed. The cliffhangers taunted us for more. Then we made a decision that changed our TV viewing lives. We bought an Apple TV. Done. Toast. We were finished. Breaking Bad was quickly finished and then it was on to House of Cards, Orange Is The New Black, and now LOST. We watch in bed, and know we should turn the TV off, but many times “just one more” sneaks in and we are dragging in the morning. If it is an addiction, it’s definitely better than most you hear about.
Binge Watching TV Illustrates a Needed Shift In Marketing
What appeals to me more about this experience is how much we enjoy watching TV without commercials…especially because we are in the business of selling the production and airing of commercials. How times have changed. I started my advertising career at a local ABC Affiliate, and I saw the writing on the wall when TIVO came out. The TV stations all denied (and still do) the power of TIVO and DVRs, but we all know the truth. Why allow interruptions in your life when they are easily avoided? That’s why we love TIVO, DVRs, Satellite Radio, etc. That’s why I and millions of others may have a binge watching TV problem (too early to call it an addiction). Does this mean traditional marketing is finished? Pretty much.
There are certain components of traditional marketing that are still very effective (local news, live sports, special events), but the majority of it simply does not work nearly as good as it used to. I’m not saying that it can’t. I’m saying that you can easily miss your audience if you do not know what you are doing. What is really interesting is that the rates for traditional media, even newspaper, increase every year. Increased rates + less results = time to shift marketing dollars to what can work better.
You are making a huge mistake if you are not focussing your marketing energy on the internet. It is a massively powerful medium, and more importantly, it is where all your past, current, and future customers are. Marketing on the internet effectively requires a different, inbound methodology, and much more work. This is why most local businesses are stuck in the rut of traditional marketing. They are used to it. It’s easy, and doesn’t require as much thought, planning, and monitoring. The challenge for you today is to start thinking differently about your marketing and get out of the traditional rut.