retail news in context, analysis with attitude

The Wall Street Journal reports that for the first time, “advertisers will have spent more on Internet ads than on print newspaper ads, according to new estimates from eMarketer. The digital-marketing research firm says U.S. spending on online ads will hit $25.8 billion, surpassing the $22.8 billion spent on print ads in newspapers.”

As the story notes, the shift has been taking place for years, as the internet offers marketers lower costs, a heightened ability to target specific shoppers, greater creative options and a growing audience - as opposed to newspapers, which pretty much the same old, same old ... unless, of course, advertisers also buy space on their websites.

And, as the Journal notes, the internet is where the customers are - people spend as much time online as they do watching television, and more time online than they do reading newspapers and magazines. “While total ad spending in the U.S. is expected to rise 3% this year to $168.5 billion,” the Journal writes, “eMarketer estimates spending on print ads in newspapers will decline 8.2% in 2010, to be followed by a 6% decline in 2011.”

So here’s the eye-opening question for marketers reading this piece (online): Where are your ad budgets focused? Are you trying to reach consumers through old-world techniques such as print coupons .... or are you embracing the future, working aggressively to make these cultural and technological shifts work for you?

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