It wasn't too long ago when many of us sat waiting for Doordarshan* to air the saturday evening movie and irrespective of who acted in it, watched it. The whole family & the whole country could be reached by airing a single spot during this time band. For someone with money this is an easy option. For startups of course, this situation would be a nightmare.
Opportunities for entertainment and media options have evolved greatly since that day. From one TV channel and millions of viewers we have moved on to 100s of TV channels and a niche set of viewers.
Segmentation of audiences by the press, magazines targeted at niche audiences are all obvious indications of the world being continuously segmented into audiences with different interests and preferences.
Add to it the internet which is emerging as a leading entertainment destination amongst the youth. The consumer could be visiting any one out of over 50 million registered domains depending on his interests and this further confirms the theory of The Long Tail (a book you have to read, if you haven't already)
Image Source - Free Thought Canada
Chris Anderson, author of "The Long Tail" aired a quote " Every abundance creates a scarcity" in a fantastic post and ever since I have been dreaming of writing about it. Have finally got down to doing it.
Media Proliferation and infinite entertainment destinations on the web have clearly created a scarcity of consumer's time and attention.
Greater Segmentation => Lesser Wastage
Greater media segmentation both simplifies the marketers life and complicates it at the same time. The Doordarshan ad is a simple decision, while choosing amongst media options today is a full fledged job.
Marketing rules on the internet further complicate lives by adding an interactive element to the traditional ad. If done right, targeting and reaching your TG is much cheaper and the proportion of advertising wasted on an audience that doesn't remotely care is less.
Simultaneously the ad rates chargeable to reach this already segmented audience increase and sometimes by around 10 times. Chris Anderson's post comparing ad rates on Social networks like Facebook vs networks like Ning establishes the same.
* Doordarshan is the public television broadcaster of India