:30 seconds is more time than people will spend with something they're not interested in. And 30 minutes may not even be enough time if people are interested in something.
That's why we see print ads and print vehicles disappearing but books proliferating. People now know they can skip things they aren't interested in. And choose instead to focus on the things they care about.
What marketing people haven't done to date is alter their communication mixes following the simple logic outlined above. So we see mass marketers spending billions on commericals and media sending virtually zero information (brand or product) to people who don't care a whit or can't afford what is being proffered.Further, they show no acuity at targeting their customers and saying "here's where to and how to satisfy your needs."
American automakers are the worst offenders. Let me say it one more time: No matter how many and how good the commercials are that Buick runs, people are not coming back to the brand. If they can somehow build a car that gets 95 mpg, lasts 25 years, doesn't pollute and costs $3000, maybe they have a chance at long-term survival. Barring that, they are simply throwing away their dough. But since GM lost $5000 per second last quarter, apparently they don't care. (BTW the $5000/second is not hyperbole. It is fact.)
What marketers are forgetting is something Steve Hayden famously said in 1994, ten years after producing what is often regarded as the greatest commercial of all time. "Direct is the future of advertising, and interactive is the future of direct." In other words, though paraphrasing Mr. Hayden is somewhat sacriligious, to a targeted audience, a :30 is the movie trailer and the website is the movie. Tell people who want content how exciting the content is and where they can find it. Then let them customize that content and get it on the devices that matter most to them.
In this week's Ad Age, Peter Noel Murray (who sounds like a phallus, the Christmas season and a guy who slices lox in a deli) writes this and I think it's pretty good.
"To maximize the potential of the internet, the CMO must take the lead in developing and researching applications that will resonate with the customer. Steps that the CMO can take include:
1. Put communication front and center.
Establish communication as the priority by challenging the company's marketing resources and interactive agencies to think from the larger perspective of the internet's "narrative voice."
2. See ad formats from a consumer's perspective.
Evaluate existing internet advertising formats and capabilities from the perspective of consumer psychology. How well are they aligned with human information processing? How can they be improved?
3. Make messaging the end goal.
Lead the development and testing of new advertising forms and structures that are built on the foundations of customer understanding and the harnessing of the technology to communicate messages most effectively.
4. Develop a more emotionally rich experience.
Establish long-term goals for internet technology that will transform the medium from its current data-centric character to become a richer medium in communicating values such as emotion, an active ingredient in the most effective ads."