Advertisers Need to Focus on Content and Be Platform Agnostic

The adage that the television and computer are separate and distinct lean forward/lean back experiences is completely outdated. From massive screens at sports stadiums and experiential venues with integrated mobile-based dynamic real-time interactive content, to TV and movies on the iPad and mobile device, the consumer experience is convergent, integrated and all-encompassing. Content producers, distributors, agencies and marketers must quickly shake off the cobwebs of outmoded and obsolescent perceptions and strategies, and move quickly to adapt to this new reality.

This week's Jack Myers Media Business Report provides a detailed and extensive overview of why content producers must focus on screen-neutral distribution strategies and, to remain tech-relevant, why advertisers must rethink their policy of buying advertising impressions exclusively through specific distribution platforms. The subscriber-only report explains why advertisers also need to sponsor/underwrite appropriate content and dynamically embed their messages in that content as it morphs across multiple platforms, with the consumer driving the process.

Advertisers are traditionally very slow to embrace technological innovation. With penetration of high definition TVs set to surpass 70% of U.S. homes this year, it's stunning how few advertisers have yet embraced this shift in consumer behavior and produced their TV commercials in HD. As 3D gains popularity, it offers tech-savvy marketers an opportunity to demonstrate to 3D early adapters that they are advancing with them technologically. But very few will. (This week's Jack Myers Media Business Report provides insights and details on the expected roll-out of 3D-TV.)

So it's not surprising that marketers are also slow to understand the multi-platform evolution of media and even slower to adjust their media investment strategies accordingly. The fact is that more than 95% of all advertising media buys remain platform-specific. Measurement currencies remain rooted in mid-20th Century platform-specific methodologies. Advertising creative strategies are, for the most part, absurdly out-of-touch with the reality of how audiences consume media today and will in the future. And marketers, even with all the hype and hoopla reported by the trade press, invest less than 1% of their total marketing budget in social media, online video, conversational marketing, and mobile advertising. Less than one percent!

Media and advertising executives tend to communicate to each other in a vacuum that celebrates the press release and ignores reality. We fail to acknowledge how slowly marketers are truly embracing the opportunities that are available to them, not only from the exciting "latest innovation," but from the multi-platform extensions and integrated opportunities now available to them from their traditional media suppliers and innovative companies like TiVo. It's not an issue of "jumping on the bandwagon" of social media, interactivity, mobile, etc. It's about recognizing that audiences spend time with content and the platform they use is irrelevant to them.

In this reality, why should media plans remain focused on the platform and be content agnostic? It's time for marketers to focus their media buys on the content and be platform agnostic.

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