Has Online Marketing Peaked?

by Victor Lund on April 1, 2015

In one of my favorite articles from 2008, WAV Group suggested that newspapers are like nursing homes. At that time, newspaper advertising was in a steep decline as a result of the emergence of more affordable online options that promised better reach. My argument was, “This obsolete technology sucks millions of dollars away from more cost-effective marketing tools while delivering less every year. There are better uses for your budget, especially if you market goods and services to people who don’t remember the Truman Administration.” Job seekers go online to Craigslist,, or to find employment. Consumers go to Zillow, Trulia,,, and HomeFinder. Want a date? There is a website for that too! Unfortunately, the economics of the online sphere are catching up with the economics of the newspaper economy. Affordability is becoming an issue for online marketers. The price of online marketing is going up, and the number of publishers is increasing. The effectiveness is also going down as more listings are advertised. Remember the good ol’ days when you just had to get your few lines of text in by Thursday at noon? In some ways, I am pretty sure that marketers pine away for that process again. Just one high-res photo and a few lines of text for your Homes & Land ad. The goal was “make the phone ring,” and ring it did! In truth, online marketing is far more complex. But print marketing was not easy either. It took administrative and marketing staff hours to do ad copy collection. It still is hard. Online marketing is hard, too! Listing syndication is complicated and feed trumping often has unsettling outcomes for how your listings are displayed. Moreover, you need to be concerned about who else is advertising on top of your advertisement. There is some good news. Once you have listing syndication configured correctly it will work for your business. Sure, the price is going up but even if it doubles, it is a relatively efficient marketing strategy. More importantly, it is much easier to get sellers to “buy into” your online marketing strategy than it ever was with print. There will be endless discussions about the volume and quality of leads. Since more than 50% of leads go unanswered, I have resigned myself to the fact that a lead is only as good as the person who gets it. To me, all […]


Mobile Passes Print in Consumer Engagement

by Victor Lund on December 12, 2011

WAV Group joined the parade of consults declaring the death of print media in late 2006. Inman News confirmed its death during their conference in San Francisco in 2007 (one of my favorite events of all time). Believe it or not, print actually made a bit of a comeback in 2010. Nevertheless, the Internet is the place that consumers increasingly spend their media time. The new news is that people are actually spending more time on their mobile phones today than they are spending interacting with print media. According to eMarketer,  time spent on mobile devices is now an average of 65 minutes a day, compared to 44 minutes a day for print (newspapers and magazines combined).  Last year, both media segments were tied, but mobile grew by 30% in 2011. Here is the weird part – someone forgot to tell the people who are creating the advertising budgets. Today, companies spend an average of 25% of their marketing dollars on print according to eMarketer. Mobile gets less than 1%. Sound familiar? That was about the same ratio that we saw back in 2006-2007 when marketers began to shift dollars online. Today, marketers still only spend about 21% online – still less than print. The majority of money is still spent on Television – about 50% for most marketers.