Digital Technologies Ushering in New Era of TV, Says New Razorfish Report

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Young people "feel stupid for just sitting through TV the old way"

As the economy began to soften toward the end of the year, we witnessed a renewed focus on search because it delivers a stronger ROI than many other tactics

Razorfish, one of the largest digital marketing companies in the world, declared in its fifth annual Digital Outlook Report that television has morphed from a mass distribution channel to a collection of interactive and personal experiences. The report, published today, provides insightful industry commentary on topics such as the future of TV and Social Influence Marketing™ and examines media buying, planning and distribution trends from the past year.

Razorfish publishes the report to help marketers make smarter choices about their digital media spend and investments in digital marketing channels.

"Marketers have been talking over the past few years about the long tail of the Internet, but now we are seeing the development of a long tail of television," said Terri Walter, vice president of emerging media at Razorfish. "TV is alive and well, but the viewing experience is moving from mass to niche in terms of both audiences and programming as consumers divide their time between computer screens, TV sets, mobile devices, gaming systems and set-top boxes. As viewership fragments, advertisers must find a way to adopt their messages to smaller, but potentially more valuable audiences."

In addition to exploring the fundamental shift happening in television, the Razorfish Digital Outlook Report offers insights into digital media trends that are affecting the media industry overall, and in particular, search and social media. For example, Razorfish saw a significant increase in client spending in paid search, which rose from 31% in 2007 to 36% in 2008.

"As the economy began to soften toward the end of the year, we witnessed a renewed focus on search because it delivers a stronger ROI than many other tactics," said Sarah Baehr, vice president and national media lead at Razorfish. "We also saw a continued shift in digital ad spending toward niche sites as clients realize the value of targeting precise audience groups."

The comprehensive report provides research, predictions and recommendations from agency thought leaders and a stellar group of guest contributors. Key findings include:

  •     Explosion of Social Influence Marketing™ - Razorfish predicts "Your CEO will join Facebook" this year. The traditional C-Suite is finally responding to the pressure that social influencers have on their brands, and they're getting onboard. The Digital Outlook Report discusses ways to measure the value of social influencers, including the proprietary Razorfish Generational Action Tag technology.
  •     Findings on the "connected class" - Razorfish found that those in the digitally savvy, 18-25 age group are becoming more selective and sophisticated in their digital choices, and are not afraid to ignore superfluous online video content or reduce the number of their 'connections' on social networking sites. Marketers would do well to respect the discerning nature of the "connected class."
  •     Defining a new retail experience - As customers are now demanding the same level of personalization in brick-and-mortar stores as they receive online, retailers need to deploy modern tools such as digital in-store signage, coupons delivered via mobile devices and interactive store floor plans and merchandise directories.
  •     Annual "Publisher of the Year" award - Razorfish's media team named New York Times Digital, Yahoo! and FM Publishing this year's publishers of the year based on their service, creativity, responsiveness and the ability to deliver meaningful solutions to the agency and its clients.

As in previous years, the Digital Outlook Report incorporates essays from guest writers who bring fresh insights into all things digital. The 2009 report includes contributions from Mike Steib, director of Google TV Ads; Davina Kent, director of strategic alliances, Comcast; media visionary and consultant Jack Meyers; Dean Carignan, director, advertising business group, entertainment & devices division, Microsoft and Mark Kroese, general manager, advertising business group, entertainment & devices division, Microsoft; and Alec Gerster, CMO, Navic.

About Razorfish
Razorfish is one of the largest interactive marketing and technology companies in the world. With a demonstrated commitment to innovation, Razorfish counsels its clients on how to leverage digital channels such as the Web, mobile devices, in-store technologies and other emerging media to engage people, build brand loyalty and provide excellent customer service. The company is increasingly advising marketers on Social Influence Marketing™, its approach for employing social media and social influencers to achieve the marketing and business needs of an organization. Its award-winning client teams provide solutions through their strategic counsel, digital advertising and content creation, media buying, analytics, technology and user experience. Razorfish has offices in markets across the United States, and in Australia, China, France, Germany, Japan and the United Kingdom. Clients include Carnival Cruise Lines, MillerCoors, Levi's, McDonald's and Starwood Hotels. Visit http://www.razorfish.com for more information.

Contacts:
Sally O'Dowd Sally.odowd (at) razorfish (dot) com (direct) +1.312.696.5068 (mobile) +1.773.458.3740
Katie Lamkin Katie.lamkin (at) razorfish (dot) com (direct) +1.312.696.5241 (mobile) +1.773.308.3425

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