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With the rise of online ad spending, this is the first year that marketers are projected to spend more dollars toward online than print.

According to a study by eMarketer, online advertising is expected to generate $39.5 billion in sales this year, which is a 23% increase from 2011.  Magazines and newspapers combined are projected to generate $33.8 billion in 2012.

Print publishers have continued to push their online products onto their current advertisers with little success. I’ve found that many print publishers are not competitive enough with their digital products.  Most of the features they bring to the table are unable to target by demographics, and because of this, they are far less desirable than their competition.  Facebook, Google & Microsoft Advertising can offer solutions that come at a lower rate with less waste. When we aim to reach multiple markets  it’s more effective and efficient to go with a Facebook, Google or ad network because they can effectively drill down to the selected demographics and at a much lower cost than running a banner ad with multiple print pubs.

In comparison, consumers are spending more time online than with print because it’s at their fingertips.  This is nothing new.  For print publishers to keep advertising dollars, and to avert advertisers from handing their dollars over to other online groups, they should expand their targeting capabilities.  I have had this conversation with multiple sales reps when they ask why we’re not buying their online offerings. My response has been that their targeting is not as sophisticated as other options that are available to advertise online. My thought is that publishers should emphasize their print products less and spend more time devoted to advancing the capabilities of their digital products. It’s time for publishers to jump on board to prevent their advertisers from jumping ship.

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