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The Death of Newspapers and Magazines

If you're in the business of selling ads for printed periodicals, you need to find another job. Ditto if you're a marketing person whose career is built on creating ads and buying ads for such publications. Many magazines are operating at a loss and newspapers are dropping like flies, and the sales and marketing job associated with them are gone for good. This is all part of the "great extinction" of sales and marketing jobs that's impacting every segment of the sales and marketing business.

The primary reason that print periodicals are dying is that online publishing does a much better job at communicating that kind of information. Here are the six basic reasons:

  • It takes time and money to move paper around. Since the paper is only the medium by which to deliver the content, it only makes sense to move paper around if that's the only way to get the content into the hands of the reader.
  • Internet content can include links to other content. Putting the existing content into context increases the value of that content. Even print publications realize this, as evidenced by the fact they've started to include URLs in hard copy text. As if somebody is going to keystroke a URL. Pitiful.
  • Internet content is more participatory. A print publications are one-way communications medium; the Internet is two-way. Every day, Sales Machine receives more comments than all the "letters to the editor" I'd received over the previous decade.
  • Internet content remains available. Once a hard copy publication has been replaced by a subsequent issue, it's almost impossible to find material and information that was in it. Material published on the Internet remains available as long as the site is active.
  • Internet content is less polluting. Grinding up trees to make paper is a colossal waste of resources and most printed copies end up in the trash. In most cases, the amount of electricity it takes to send and display an article on a screen is infinitesimal in comparison.
  • Internet advertising is trackable. Because the impact of a web ad is MEASURABLE, it's possible to compute the EXACT value of ad space on that web page. The companies that purchase such ads know exactly how many prospects click through, and can calculate the ROI of the ad.
It's the last reason that's most significant for the rest of the sales and marketing world. Internet advertising is what makes Quant Marketing so important. Measureability means accountability. And accountability that generates proven success means career advancement.

So the marketing folk who've figured out that measurable advertising makes more sense than unmeasurable advertising are the ones who will survive. The marketers who's career revolves around print periodicals will be looking for another job sooner rather than later.

And if you're in ad sales for a print periodical, my best advice to you is to start learning how to sell Internet ads and get the heck into lifeboat before the Titanic finally hits the iceberg.

READERS: Is your firm still doing print advertising? Or has your firm moved all online, like so many others?