Thursday, October 12, 2006


Free Downloads: Latest Reports About Media Use

Arbitron has a free report about Internet and media use that is highly recommended. Consumers use of “on-demand” media like the Internet increased sharply, and they now consider cell phones and broadband Internet access the most “life-changing” new technologies. Households with broadband Internet access now significantly outnumber those with dial-up, 13% of consumers now having three or more working computers in their homes. Given a choice between never using the Internet or never watching TV, 4 in 10 would now choose to keep the Internet and eliminate television. These changes, of course, ripple through to print, especially to young consumers. A recent USA Today report described the college campus life of “digital natives” the generation that has not known a time without the Internet... and they'll be in the workforce soon and making media decisions. It's essential our industry be prepared for them.

B2B businesses are now placing 40% of their purchases of goods and materials online. That's according to a press release by Abacus, a division of DoubleClick. The executive summary is available for free download. According to the company “...significant is the report's finding that b-to-b customers make online purchases nearly 10% more than b-to-c customers, with 40% of 2005 b-to-b sales occurring over the Web, compared with 31% of consumer purchases. Abacus' report said the statistics highlight what most marketers already know: 'Business purchases exhibit a different dynamic than consumer purchases.'” These trends are also aiding in the adoption of Web2Print technologies.

The Newspaper Next project of the American Press Institute has released a worthwhile report, titled “Blueprint for Transformation.” Go to this address, fill out the form, and you can download a PDF at no charge. The situation analysis and the “game plan” sections are well done, and have direct parallels to print. The difference is that commercial printers do not create content... but their customers do, and that's where the opportunities are. The report introduction says “Successful new business models are emerging, providing new ways to get and give information, buy and sell, create and maintain relationships, and convene communities. Many of these offerings supplant traditional newspaper functions, adding new dimensions of value, convenience and interactivity. Consumers and advertisers are eagerly adopting these new solutions to get key jobs done in their lives. The innovators creating these solutions are seeing dizzying growth rates. Why can’t newspaper companies do the same? Newspaper Next’s conclusion: They can – but not without dramatic changes in the way they think, the strategies they adopt and the innovation processes they use.” Sound familiar?

What does the commercial printing industry do to reposition itself in the modern media world? Two recent “Dr. Joe” columns from have been moved from their premium to free access side so that more industry executives can access them. The first discusses what needs to be done on an industry basis, and the second reviews what print business owners need to do. The idea for the two-column commentary started when a media advisor said at a conference of leading corporate marketers and communicators: “print can be a legitimate spinoff of the web.” There it was; those nine words put the media shift in full perspective. Print had a run of 500 years of world-changing participation, and now its relegated to being a “spinoff.” This will not change. The first step to adapting is to recognize that electronic media are here to stay, and we have to start aggressively using it ourselves.

USA Today report
press release - Abacus
executive summary - Abacus
Blueprint for Transformation
first WTT article
second WTT article

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