a trend that impacts your salary


As this blog is “where the worlds of voice over, marketing and advertising collide” I try and make sure individual posts cover one or more of those areas each week. This post covers all three.

If you earn your living as a voice talent, a marketer (for your own company or on behalf of someone else) or in advertising (either for yourself or someone else) there is a trend developing that you need to think about. Why?

Because it affects how much money you’re going to make in the future. Think mortgage payments, new cars and education.

With me now?

Double click on the chart below and then click back for some thoughts.

Newpaper, Internet Trends via Pew Research

That chart is part of a much more in-depth study produced in August, 2008 by the Pew Research Center for People and The Press. Maybe its stuff you thought was happening and maybe it even reflects your personal changes. But this is now quantifiable. And that means a lot to how we all make our livings. Pay attention:

You have just read a 15 year trend in media usage, specifically how people get their news.
* 24% fewer people in that time period get their news from newspapers
* 12% fewer people get their news from the radio
* 31% fewer people watch the nightly network news
* On line and cable news consumption is through the roof

This is about more than just news, I think. This is a game changer for people who work in media (including voice over), marketing and advertising. Most are dealing with this and thousands of pages of similar data already but I’m guessing you may not be, so let us ruminate for a moment, shall we?

Let’s just for the sake of this post take out concerns of the bias of cable news outlets as it affects their presentation of the news to the growing majority of American cable news consumers and how that impacts how people think, act and vote about issues of the day. Great topic and just considering it gets your head to throbbing but back away from it just for this discussion.

Let’s do say you’re a voice talent and you’ve been charging $200 for a :30 second commercial on local broadcast television and $150 or even $100 for cable TV spots because there are fewer viewers. Survey says that number is changing a bit (though broadcast ratings are still higher). Should you consider changing your cable fees? Is that change justified? Survey says maybe.

Let’s say you’re in advertising and you’ve been specializing in print ads which mostly go in newspapers or you’ve been doing lots of radio spots on news talk stations. Shouldn’t you at least reconsider either your primary business services or your media recommendation to clients? Survey says it’s probably worth some brainstorming.

Let’s say you’re in marketing for a grocery store and you do weekly inserts with specials and temporary price reductions and the like. Has coupon redemption gone up or down on those inserts? Any reasons you know of for a change? Survey says maybe.

Let’s say you are a consumer that can be influenced by commercials you see on cable TV, print ads or weekly grocery store inserts (we’d all like to say “not me” but we’d be lying). Could your buying habits be impacted by this change in media usage? After all, you’re the one changing the usage. What if you’re not finding out about all these new special offers because the media vendors haven’t changed their marketing plans for their clients? Clients whose products you normally buy or would consider buying.

The point is not that any of these industries need to play catch up because that’s what we’re all doing everyday anyway. A trend arises and we react. Tuesday go left. Wednesday go right. Thursday is too far away to consider.

The point is to be aware that there are very specific changes in media usage. This information is but one small part.

But do you comprehend the change? Do you even feel it, maybe? Is the change impacting the way you do business? Should it change the way you do business?

Is it impacting the way you buy things? Does it alter your opinion of brands? Could it alter the opinions of consumers of your brand?

That box below here is where the discussion begins…be a part of it, now. Thanks.

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9 Responses to “a trend that impacts your salary”

  1. Very interesting discussion, Peter. As someone who made my living as a marketing person (albeit, an INTERNET marketing person) prior to now making my living as a voice talent, I can tell you that expense is a lot of reason why businesses are putting more of their marketing dollars in to the Internet. Radio, TV and newspapers are extremely expensive compared toe advertising on the Internet. And it’s much easier to track exact metrics and ROI with the Internet advertising options too. But I think it still depends on what business you’re in – and how large your company is. The larger companies aren’t going to shy away from radio and tv and newspapers because of the expense. They have the funds. And they realize that they need to be in many places at once to get the maximum amount of bang for their buck. With the smaller companies, they have to pick and choose a little more because of budgetary concerns.

    Are more people on the Internet than ever before? Certainly! Are less people watching TV, listening to radio, reading the newspapers? That’s very likely as well (as indicated by the chart). But (of course, depending on the industry), if a business can afford it, redundancy is a good thing. I say that in regards to websites all the time (having multiple ways to reach the same point, is NOT a bad thing! :)) – but it also holds true for Marketing. (Within reason, of course. You don’t want to totally drive people NUTS with your marketing … but being in multiple channels, if you can afford it, won’t hurt.)

    Anyway, just my two cents … And perhaps I’m rambling since it’s been a long day. 😀 Thanks for starting the discussion. I look forward to reading other responses.

  2. Not rambling at all Jodie, all good points.

    You hear pockets of bigger companies spending less on TV and more on internet and social media but I’m not sure yet that we’re at the tipping point.

    I guess my point is we’re almost there!

    Best always,
    – Peter

  3. Things are certainly changing, Peter. And as the old guard retires, the new guard, that grew up with the Internet being a part of their daily lives, will take over. And while a lot of things are uncertain in business these days, I think it’s a certainty that they’ll prefer to put their hard-earned business dollars into a medium they can accurately measure – and that costs them less – given the numbers of “eyes” to justify it. It’s coming … and it’s coming soon. (It’s been coming for the last five years, actually… It’s just a matter of when the flood comes. ;)) That’s not to say that as voice actors, that means our livelihoods are going to dry up. Not at all. There’s tons of call for voices on the web. It’s just a bit different, that’s all. 🙂

  4. That’s exactly right.

    I was thinking about old guard versus new guard the other day. Our local paper about a year ago or so started charging people for publishing wedding announcements on Sunday. In other words, you’re taking out an ad on yourself rather than the classier way newspapers have always done it.

    We’ll at first, reaction was awful and no one took “ads”. Now a few more are taking the ads, seeing it as just another wedding expense and putting hubris above all else which is their right. There will soon be a generation who know nothing but paying for wedding announcements.

    Me, I’m old and I think in that particular case, the new way sucks. 😉

    Best always,
    – Peter

  5. Sometimes the new way *does* suck. Unfortunately, that doesn’t always mean it won’t become the new way. 😉 But there’s a sense of … I don’t know … entitlement … about a lot of the younger folks today. (Listen to me. “Younger folks”. I still feel like I’m 25 on the INside… ) Like they deserve the very best just for showing up. I think that’ll influence the trends of the future a lot too … It’ll be interesting to see. (I know a lot of teachers. WOW do they have a lot to say about the younger generation… Don’t get me wrong. Some of the kids are wonderful and cool. But that sense of entitlement is really prevalent throughout. And parents seem to perpetuate it in a lot of cases … )

  6. Ah the entitlement card…good call.

    I think Jodi we’re seeing the development of Generation S – for spoiled.

    These kids were treated almost too well by their parents. There’s an MTV show “Sweet 16” I think its called, where girls have a huge, lavish coming out party and they treat their parents like crap.

    And its the parents fault for not taking control of their child years earlier.

    Oh its not good.

    Best always,
    – Peter

  7. Totally agreed. And really makes you wonder what the future will be like for those of us that *didn’t* grow up in that generation …

  8. Short answer? We’re screwed! 🙂

    Best always,
    – Peter

  9. 😀

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