If you think you're just a search marketer, think again. Don't pigeonhole yourself with narrow definitions. You're not just a search marketer, nor isolated to a social marketer - you're an interactive marketer. If you think you're confined to the Web, you're wrong. This is important because pretty soon you will become a TV marketer, too. That old frontier TV is hatching itself into the new frontier.
Behold its amazingness. Television still surpasses the Web in consumption. The stats are a little rusty - all the way from Q1 2010 - but hear them out. According to The Nielsen Company, the average consumer spends 158 minutes per month watching TV, compared to 25 minutes using the Web on a PC. I laughed when I saw these stats. Are you kidding me? I watch TV and use the Internet way more than that. So, agreeing that these numbers are laughably low for galactic media users like us, instead of raw numbers, let's consider the universe in terms of ratios. Ratio-wise, TV has the Internet beat six to one.
Connected devices make TV even more interesting: set-top boxes (e.g., DVRs with 40 percent household penetration, according to Leichtman Research Group), game consoles, app developers, and Wi-Fi-enabled LEDs. You can control video, search video, and get it from your high-speed provider either through TV channels or the Web (e.g., Netflix). Television is the portal that connects your video life to your Internet life.
Imagine what this means in terms of new ways to advertise, market, and sell. Connectivity is happening in mobile devices, social media, and search. Every click of the remote, every programming choice gives marketers insight into demographics and interests. Viewers are captivated audiences who spend six times more of their lives in front of a television than in front of a PC. Even more intriguing is that consumers who use DVRs are actually more likely to watch ads. According to Deloitte, 42 percent of all ad dollars will be spent on TV in 2011 to the tune of $200 billion dollars. I think we're talking about nine to ten times the size of search and social ad spends combined.
Now what if we could marry search, social, and TV? What would that look like? Here are some ideas and some apps that are making this a reality:
While TV is in the early stages of getting a boost from search and social media, as these new concepts take hold, they will bring new ways for search and social marketers to advertise. My predictions:
Perhaps, we're still a bit away from the predicted convergence of PC and TV. We aren't quite there with true shopping from the TV, that's for sure. We do know this: TV is about watching TV. Search and social media fit quite nicely into the "watching" mode of TV. Search helps us find what we want, when we want it, and social gives us insights from friends, fans, and the world. I hope that we can add TV marketer to our list of SEM, SEO, and social monikers soon!
This column was originally published in SES Magazine, March 2011.
Lori Weiman is CEO of The Search Monitor and a columnist for Search Engine Land. The Search Monitor tracks competitors, trademarks, and affiliates on paid and organic search, shopping, local, and social media. Previously, Lori co-founded KeywordMax.com (now a division of Digital River, Inc.). Recent speaking engagements include SES, SMX, AffCon, Search Insider Summit, and Affiliate Summit. Follow Lori on Twitter at @searchmonitor.
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