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The widening dichotomy between digital and print advertising

By Louis Eksteen

All traditional media companies the world over are continuing to experience massive disruption to their long-standing, previously hugely profitable business models. Two announcements, only a few days apart in the second-half of January 2013 are indicative of the harsh new reality for media.

The first indicated journalism job cuts at Financial Times (FT). The second declared Google earned $50 billion in revenue during its 2012 fiscal year.

In an amazingly frank mail to staff by FT editor Lionel Barber discussing the FT's new "digital first" strategy, he makes it clear that "print [is], still a vital source of advertising revenues".

As an aside: Barber's mail uses the word "print" four times while "digital" appears six times, "internet" and "web" once each and "social media" twice. (I can recall vividly that just a couple of years ago IT departments in certain traditional media companies still "banned" the use of Facebook...)

Barber's reference to the importance of print advertising revenues highlights the widening dichotomy between digital and print advertising. While digital audiences are growing rapidly and engagement with digital news and other media products increases, it seems as if advertisers continue to be prepared to shell out significant investment for print advertisements, handing successful printed products a handsome profit margin. At the same time, they do not apply this approach to the digital extensions of the print products they advertise in.

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Join the brand content vibe

SA's first major brand content marketing conference is happening in Cape Town between 25 and 26 February this year. Content_the whole story will feature Joe Pulizzi, founder of the Content Marketing Institute as headline speaker, as well as other content marketing specialists.

Inbound marketing rocks

The newest buzz phrase shaping thinking about our industry is "inbound marketing". Using marketing automation software and techniques, inbound marketing refers to the discipline of using digital tools to generate maximum benefit from excellent brand content.

Lucky no. 13

By Kim Browne

We love to go all out at The Toast and the summer holidays were good to all of us Toasters. After a solid break, we’re back and ready for the year we’re calling “lucky number 13″. Change and renewal are ever constant and January is a great time to kick-start fresh ideas.

Constant minor refinements pay back over time and are often much more powerful than a seemingly big thing. Small steps add up quickly. A little change may seem insignificant on its own, but the cumulative build results in magic. Pieces start fitting together and those that don’t can be easily discarded, before they morph into big, unmanageable problems.

We remain flexible and light-footed and pride ourselves on being able to continuously adjust, tweak and re-invent. We know overnight success is the biggest fallacy of all, yet still find ourselves dreaming of “the big one”. Realistically we know success, or “luck”, is the result of consistent hard work and dedication – with key learnings from failures along the way. We aim to continue on this path in 2013.

New ideas take time to get accepted, gain momentum, become popular. In this crazy, time-starved world we’ve got to allow the time for this to happen and take the time to do things brilliantly. Yes is truly a magical word!

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