You can’t blame folks for being confused about media. Terms from one medium — like banners from outdoor advertising — transfer to another medium — like banners for web advertising — almost as fast as new media emerge. It’d be hard enough to keep up if media were the only things changing. But change seems to define the whole world as much as anything else these days.
Judging from this article, and this one, and this one, it isn’t exactly news that the effectiveness of banner advertising has declined precipitously. What would we expect from a medium that resulted in the coining of its own phenomenon: banner blindness?
The fact is, if you have bigger marketing fish to fry, the medium is a red herring. (Ouch!) You and your business objectives will be better served by concentrating on two other things, instead — your message and its packaging. Here’s an example:
Let’s say you’re a web-development firm that wants to emphasize the importance of tracking site traffic and responding constructively to user behavior by enhancing content that’s being accessed and eliminating content that’s not. You could consider media — say web or print — and create an ad that says this: “It’s important track site traffic and respond constructively to user behavior by enhancing content that’s being accessed and eliminating content that’s not.”
Or you could consider the message — that you ignore traffic statistics and user behavior at the risk of your business — and package it engagingly, like this:
The medium then becomes secondary. And you can select any medium based on a criterion as simple as budget: If you can afford print, use print. If you can only afford web advertising, use the web. Or if you want to minimize your spend and maximize your targeting, use email and a select list of prospects.
One more thing: If you really want to engage, consider using humor. We seem to be losing our senses of humor as rapidly as media are proliferating. Don’t let it happen. If you use humor in your communications, regardless of medium, you’ll have fun creating your messages. And your prospects will have fun reading them.