A friend of mine recently attended an Online Publishers Association conference, where he saw a presentation on the impact of online marketing relative to more traditional media. Both the study's methodology and its results are very interesting. The study, titled, "A Day in the Life: An Ethnographic Study of Media Consumption," seeks to find out how consumers really interact with the media in their lives and how they consume advertising over those media.
The authors of the study, conducted by the Center for Media Design at Ball State University, gathered data in three distinct ways: they interviewed the participants, asked them to keep a diary and, most uniquely of all, followed them around -- for days. We all know that self-reported studies are imperfect, but true observational studies are rare due to their cost and effort. So this more in-depth approach makes the results even more noteworthy:
- TV continues to be king. More time is spent on TV than on the Web.
- The Web now has equaled or surpassed the reach and exposure of radio, newspapers and magazines.
- Not surprisingly, the Web dominates in the workplace. (It's hard to watch TV at work <grin>.)
- The Web's greatest influence is not as a stand-alone medium, but as a partner that drives up results when used alongside other media.
- Web users spend more money in virtually every category than traditional TV-centric consumers.
The bottom line of the report is that online marketing spend as a percentage of total advertising spend still significantly trails the percentage of time consumers spend online.
It's good to be in online marketing...