Before the internet, most advertising budgets went to some form of mass media. But today the internet is becoming the dominant advertising media for more and more business. There will always be a need for mass media advertising. That need has changed by varying degrees depending on the industry. For example, as little as five years ago, car dealers dominated many media such as radio and newspaper. Today, most car dealers have cut back on mass media and increased their internet efforts. This is happening more and more in most other retail sectors.

The reason for this is a paradigm shift giving the consumer unprecedented control over what advertising they are exposed to. As consumers spend more time with computers and the internet, they spend less time with media such as newspaper, radio, and TV. Consumers can now watch TV on more channels, cable or satellite, and on the internet, raising the cost and complexity for advertisers buying the medium. Downloading TV programs over the internet, premium channel viewing, and DVR’s can almost eliminate all commercial viewing.

Local radio advertisers are losing audience to mp3 players, satellite radio, and the internet. Newspapers are losing readers to the internet. So if you advertise and are doing it the same way you did 10, 20 or more years ago, you are probably wasting a lot of money.

I’m not saying you should stop using any of these media. They all still work. They just may not work the same as they used to. So my advice is if you have been advertising for 10 or more years, it is time to reevaluate.

Next time we’ll evaluate packages and long term commitments.