In the battle of big companies versus small, scale is often the decider. Big companies have vast resources to draw on. They also have vast inertia that stops them changing direction like their smaller, more agile competitors. The usual analogy is a supertanker versus a speedboat.

This great article shows the damage that scale can cause. It talks about the shift of news from print to digital, and how the enormous investments in printing presses are blocking traditional newspaper and magazine publishers into a corner (even if they sell off spare print capacity to vanity presses).

But the stand-out point for me was this great stat on the imbalance between paper and digital advertising:

26% of ad spend in 2009 was allocated to print, while only 12% of time spent consuming media was spent on it. In contrast, Internet use is at 28% of time where only 13% of ad dollars are allocated… It’s inevitable that advertisers will shift their budgets to follow where the attention is going. Potentially that’s a $50 billion shift into internet advertising.


For us in the ol’ marketing sector, whether agency-side or client, we already know that online advertising is the way forward. Online advertising gives you better segmentation, greater agility and better return. Response mechanisms are easier. Metrics are more granular. But wow, those numbers. I betwith tablets and smartphones now resolutely mainstream, and better mobile ad networksthe figures for 2010 will look very different.

How have your ad budgets shifted over the past couple of years? When do you still advertise in newspapers and magazines?

Posted by John on 23 November 2010