Bonnie Fuller on why boomer marketers aren’t branding digitally

When boomer advertisers think branding, they’re still tending to put traditional media first. While usually being part of the mix, digital can get relegated to direct response or customer relationship uses. Millennial demographic (born late 70s or early 80s to early 2000s), doesn’t regularly use magazines or print?What if they spend 25 hours a week online?  How are they going to get your story? What’s the cost olf not rebalancing the media portfolio to reflect actual audience behavior?

Bonnie Fuller, herself a boomer, knows the dollar value of traditional media. She is well aware of the bandied axiom that analog dollars translate into digital pennies. But as she shows in a newly posted Ad Age column, “misreading Millennial media behavior” will lose dollars and pennies.

Before she took over at Hollywood Life for Penske Media Corporation, Ms. Fuller had edited, even transformed, such venerable pubs as Glamour, Men’s Fitness, Cosmopolitan, US Weekly, Shape, Natural Health and Marie Claire. The New York Timescredited her with inventing celebrity print journalism as we know it. In fact, Advertising Age twice selected her as Editor of the Year. Today as part of the PMC Network that includes Variety.com, India.com and Movieline.com, her site draws some 11 million young women. mostly in the 18 to 35 demo.

Fuller notes that most boomer marketers don’t use plan digital media as carefully as they do traditional vehicles. In spite of presentations by the very differentiated sources that continue to refine “narrowcasting”:

“….there’s no way baby-boomer marketers would ever hand over their advertising dollars to an agency to be placed willy-nilly on traditional-media plans with no idea where the bucks are going.

To the contrary, they obsess over their branded campaigns, carefully choosing which magazines and TV shows are most positively aligned and should carry their advertising. Alignment is critical.

They can absolutely have that alignment online if they become familiar with the premium branded- content sites that focus on the demographic those marketers are trying to reach. Ironically they need only look at some of their traditional-media partners to find role models. TV networks and movie studios have already done a great job of this, and place exciting tune-in campaigns on digital websites.

Despite boomer-CMOs’ reluctance to dive in online, marketers can create wonderfully exciting immersive campaigns that will engage the millennials they should be trying to reach.”

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Thomas Delorme
Written by Thomas Delorme

VP, Digital Products & Strategy

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