… In Which I Admit Breaking My Newspaper Addiction

14 Dec

To quote my former colleague Markham Butler, it’s all even-steven now. Television and Internet consumption that is.  Forrester marked the event on Tuesday, noting that the trend is reflected in Proctor & Gamble’s decision to shift budget from TV soap operas and daytime dramas to digital channels.So what. No, seriously, so what? It’s easy to read this as a if people are walking away from their TVs and running to their computers. But does that jibe with your own experience?

Look, I’m a digital strategist, and I can honestly say I consume just as much television as ever. I’m not an elitist who swears they don’t watch much TV, or have little need for a DVR. But the vast majority of my time in front of the TV also includes an iPad or laptop computer propped up on my legs.

Given the slightest lull in the action, I will be looking down to click to another page, load another clip, try out another word (I am a terrible Scrabble player, just for the record), or changing the channel. So if you’re marketing on either TV or online, you have to fight twice as hard now to grab my attention.

And I’m not alone. Check out the survey Forrester recently completed about what we’re doing while “watching TV.”

Photo5sm So if TV isn’t losing out, who is? Print, big time. I dare say that at any point in time I have half dozen magazines in my living room that I haven’t even cracked open. A year ago renewing my subscriptions was a given. Now, not so fast. (And if you want to know the ugly truth, I’m a former newspaperman who for the first time in his life doesn’t get paper thrown to my door.)

Getting back to my question of so what, I’ll tell you what. The fact that we’re even-steven now really means that if you aren’t matching your TV investment with an online play then you’re really only covering half the bets. The smart marketer now accepts that TV is still a critical part of the mix, but no longer expects it to be THE critical part of the mix.

Next time you’re sitting on your couch with the TV on, look around. It should be obvious that its time to do something more.

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