Does your institution put its advertising money where prospective students are?

June 21st, 2007 Karine Joly 4 Comments

If most of your advertising budget is spent on newspaper and magazine ads, probably not. That is if JupiterResearch, an independent firm providing research to the online industry, is right.

According to one of its recent reports, published last week, “Media Consumption Patterns: Online Vies with TV As Primary Medium,” online users spend as much time online as they spend watching TV, while users under the age of 35 spend more time online than on TV.

The press release also points out a mind-boggling fact about advertising spendings:

Despite this trend, however, advertisers continue to spend disproportionately on print, with newspapers garnering nearly three times the expenditure of online. Money spent on television advertising remains the clear leader among the marketing mix with advertisers spending four times as much on TV advertising as all online advertising.

For JupiterResearch Analysts, the medium of the future for advertisers could be social networking websites. That is if used properly.

So while online social networks might seem like the ideal mix of media and communications, advertisers must use them appropriately. Brand advertisers should rely on sponsorships, widgets, or branded microsites within the networks.

“Sponsoring personal-page themes and widgets that entertain or offer exclusive access to content also makes sense for reaching potential brand advocates,” said Emily Riley, Analyst at JupiterResearch. “But it takes a light touch. Marketing can’t be so intrusive that it risks creating negative brand associations.”

Obviously, the report is targeted to companies (and not higher ed institutions), but it definitely confirms the need to rethink some marketing and advertising tactics and start spending more time and money online.

What do you think? Is it just wishful thinking? Anybody spending more money online than offline when it comes to marketing to prospective students? Post a comment!