Internet Advertising vs. TV Advertising

With so many ways to advertise these days, Internet, yellow pages, T.V., newspaper, etc it gets difficult to determine what medium is most effective. I believe there is a consensus amongst most attorneys these days that yellow page advertising is going the way of the dinosaur. But what about advertising on the television? Surely, there are far more people watching TV today vs yesterday.

As more television content is shown online, television executives/networks and advertisers are starting to get a better idea of which works better - Internet or TV advertising.

Companies marketing their products and services are distributing as much as 20% of their ad budget to online marketing. With this kind of money being distributed across different channels those spending the money of course want to know how effective Internet advertising is compared to TV advertising.

Lets face it, watching a television ad is not something anyone wants to do. I fact, with the advent of products like TIVO, commercials are becoming a thing of the past. My little boy has never even seen a television ad, which is exactly how I like it. I don't have to be the bad guy and say no you cannot have that toy. Most of the shows I watch now are recorded on my DVR (digital video recorder) and I watch them later so that I Can specifically fast forward through ALL of the commercials.

Now, I realize that not everyone does this but more and more households have a DVR, in fact, as of August 21, 2007, 1 in every 5 households has a DVR which is up from 1 in every 13 households in 2005 according to the Leichtman Research Group. Now that we are in 2009, the numbers are even higher, in fact, as of March 2009, 30.6 percent of households in Nielsen’s National People Meter Panel have a DVR, up significantly from just 12.3 percent in January 2007 with some areas of the country as high as 37%.

Another critical factor with television advertising is the fact that it is very hard to target a specific market. Oh sure, advertisers can place ads at specific times of the day to try and target a certain demographic but that is more of a shotgun effect.

With the Internet, search engines are finding that by learning each user's "personality" they can actually bring up websites and other forms of advertising by what they believe the user will be interested in. This is done by past user online behaviour.

Marketing research companies like IAG Research and ARSgroup have developed different methods to gauge how effective ads are in TV and the Internet.

IAG uses incentive-based Internet polls to see what TV ads viewers remembered, and they place “cookies” on hard drives so they know when panelists are exposed to an online ad. ARSgroup tests how engaging ads are in TV, Internet and movie theaters.

To be clear, these kinds of online measuring tools are still in the very early stages but are getting more mature every day.

NBC conducted it's own online survey of its NBC Rewind viewers and found that its Internet ads elicit higher brand recall than those on TV.

What does all this mean? It means that as an attorney, you should certainly explore many different advertising venues but to ignore the Internet because you are not as familiar with it can be a very costly mistake.
Just a last thought, people love to watch TV, I do. It's just the commercials we don't love. Video's on websites are almost the opposite of TV commercials. Why, because if a potential client is on your website, they WANT to hear what you have to say. They sought you out specifically to get answers and the more senses your site can appeal to the more likely they are to call you.

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