No offense Rance Crain. In my book anything the Crains do is golden, coming from a Chicago girl (no I’m not native, but my child IS, so there). I will cancel Advertising Age after subscribing for many years as a loyal customer of the print edition.
- I was around when B2B was its own magazine and then it merged inside its sister publication, Ad Age, and then it disappeared completely.
- I was around when there was at least a smattering of public relations news somewhere in the publication, and then there was none.
- I’ve been around since the campaigns like ‘how many licks does it take to reach the center of a Tootsie Roll pop’ were the norm and there was more dispersed coverage of all campaigns than just those that cater to the big advertising guns.
Alas, we ‘fair to middlin’ (what my grampa used to say)’ marketers no longer compute. We don’t have the advertising dollars to play in the same sandbox as the big guns, and the reporting shows.
- Why must I read the annual ‘Women to Watch’ list of the female 25 powerhouses who make up the oh-my-gosh-a-woman-is-CEO few in the agency or corporate marketing world? I’m so tired of the female profiling stories as if they are the only ones working and there’s no team making it all happen.
- What do I care about Cannes, where the glitterati go to show off how nice they look in an evening gown and vie for the coveted positioning on the back few pages of pictorial showing the who’s who of advertising bumping shoulders with celebrities to tack that print photo on fan pages and walls of fame.
The fact is, I don’t, and nor does Advertising Age. It won’t miss my paltry $165 (or whatever) annual subscription I paid for a thinner and thinner publication with news that no longer applies to me. Used to be when I was blogging thrice weekly, I could comb through Ad Age and invariably find something to tap for a blog post. You see, I’m gifted with the ability to draft an entire blog post based on a mere headline.
But, the print edition of Advertising Age has gone sour and stale. For sure the only ones scanning it are the interns seeking news of their agency bosses or clients to prove agency worthiness.
I predict the demise of Advertising Age’s print edition, very soon. I believe Advertising Week is still being published? In all my years as a public relations marketer, I’ve never had a direct marketing campaign targeted at me to consider Adweek, so I’ll go look and see if that media outlet still exists. Ahh, yep, it does, and here’s the link. See? I don’t truly matter to the niche advertising outlets; yet, I certainly should, right?
Can Niche Media Cover All The News?
Can niche media cover all the news and cater to ALL the marketers popping up by the millions? The answer to that is a resounding no—specialty media are strapped for cash. Citizen journalists, the likes of we bloggers, control the ‘sphere of online publishing. Our owned media opportunities enable a varying voice of contrary, support, question, and perspective. Our power as individuals and marketing consultants standing smack in the eye of the storm in this world of disruption provides that mid-tier perspective that is now extinct at Advertising Age.
Looking Ahead At Specialty Media
Corporate marketers are hungrier than we’ve ever seen. Consumers are getting shorted in product sizes, short sheeted in toilet paper, tissue and paper towel, less quantity in boxes of goods only to suffer exponentially rising costs that make generic and no-name products look awfully good, quality be damned. The hugest product corporations are now producing generics to grab a piece of that pie, too, because they know they’re squeezing us, yet don’t care.
Agencies are pressed to get results from advertising campaigns by spending a fortune on the namby-pamby consumer whose 60-second attention span is coveted. The media are working with an ever-more diversified ad dollar to support their own publishing endeavors, new ventures into owned media, digital marketing, and, (omgosh) PUBLIC RELATIONS!
- Have you seen the stories of Forbes targeting the 30-under-30 millennial category with a think tank and advertisers in queue to grab some share?
- How about Coca-Cola’s Vitamin Water Project Hustle campaign? Rather than just use advertising, it created an amazingly excellent integrated marketing campaign from all angles. (When you click, you’ll head to my newest website in progress and have a chance to listen to my podcast on this topic co-hosted by John Gregory Olson.)
Who Cares If I Cancel Advertising Age?
There is absolutely no way niche media can cover the current disruption with aplomb. It’s too vast, and there’s way too much happening. The online media without a print edition do it much better, faster, cheaper.
My prediction is the media relations professionals will be pitching digital media only in five years.
Media outlets will be pay to play only and require native advertising within their own reported stories.
The print editions of niche media will die a storied death and the people who still love to get print subscriptions (a weekly business magazine, for example) will be extinct.
None of these predictions are too shocking, right?
Nope, I didn’t think so either. At the end of the day, regardless of my subscriber profile for Advertising Age, I paid annual fees that will no longer contribute to a positive bottom line for Crain Communications. Money, after all, is still money.