Thursday, May 24, 2007

When Your Audience

Doesn't Need You

By Jose Pagliery

FIU Student Journalist

She doesn’t have to read your newspaper. She doesn’t have to watch your television show. And now she can fast-forward past your misdirected Viagra and John Deere commercials.

So what do advertisers do when Jill Q. Public consumers have become individuals with the world at their selective fingertips? Adapt with them.

“Convergence is here. People were talking about this in 1995, but it’s here now. It almost snuck up on us,” said Andrew Latzman of Dynamic Logic. He advises companies to create advertising content relative to the articles being read.

The goal: stop one-way advertisement and start an open dialogue with consumers.

Janeen Wasoski, managing digital director of sales at The New York Times, believes adaptation requires newspapers to becomes what she calls “platform agnostic.” In charge of increasing the pipeline of online advertising, her goal is to bring people their news and pertinent advertisements no matter where they are.

By launching My Times, a Web site where readers can personalize the topics of news sent to them and import their email accounts, the newspaper now allows advertisers the ability to reach an atomized target audience.

But individually-oriented commercials may not be enough, because now Jill Q. is on the move.

She does her banking on her way to work and buys her movie tickets on her way to the theater. Her cell phone has become her everything-machine, and advertisers better pay attention.

Gina Wilcox, director of online development at the Palm Beach Post, calls mobile-access ads “the ghost of Christmas future.” My Times might be proof. Their mobile platform launched in last year’s fourth quarter grew exponentially by February, thanks to smart phone and Blackberry users.

And now Jill can shop wherever, whenever and however she wants – reading news stories every step of the way.