The relationship between the Audience, Advertiser and Media is fascinatingly delicate:
People (the audience) embrace media content because they want to be informed and entertained. Sometimes they want light and fluffy; other times deeply moving; most likely it is somewhere in between. They are not asked to pay much - often just needing a device - or a modest monthly subscription, a few dollars for a magazine or newspaper, even less for access online.
The Advertisers foot the big bill. Advertisers, of course, want to share information with those People. Often not all the People, just a select group. Rarely does a specific Media fit perfectly with an Advertiser’s target audience. More commonly, each Media offers only a subset of that perfect target group.
Meanwhile, for the Media - commercial success comes from delivering an audience to an advertiser. The audience is smart and will move on quickly should more compelling content appear elsewhere. Advertisers are rarely accepting of risk, they want guaranteed audiences and outcomes (which is fair given that they are paying the bills).
This is the dynamic tension. Add the complexity of a broad array of media opportunities, new technologies, market fragmentation, issues with measurements and transparency - and it’s quickly apparent that the media area is a maze of minefields and potential traps.
Attention span is short, so audiences can (and do) shift quickly. Expected behaviours can be vastly different from actual. And the last thing anyone wants is have ads placed where one is looking.
For advertisers, the answer to all of this is remarkably straight-forward once the focus is firmly placed on the audience that will drive sales growth. For media, there is evidence everywhere of just how fickle audiences can be. And for us people, who touch our mobile device an average of 300 times a day and have an attention span of 8.25 seconds...
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