Beyonce meet Kanter Media. Kanter meet Beyonce.

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There is an old marketing textbook maxim that states as a brands gets older and more mature, it requires less money to promote.  This promotion argument is based on awareness levels. A consumer aware of a product, needs only a fast reminded and product value pitch to engender a sale. So if a national product introduction through TV costs $7M, then a reminder flight of advertising 2 months later may require only $4 million and deliver the same sales results.  

Beyonce’s launch of her new album, using the web, social media and her millions of followers blew the textbooks out of the water. She did not spend one penny to promote the album and 365,000 units (full albums, not songs) sold in a day.  Her legions of fans did the awareness and value work.  Pearl Jam is the same way; they needn’t take out ads. Pent up demand, loyalty and social remove the need for an investment in promotion for big, big brands in certain categories.   

Not everyone is Beyonce or Pearl Jam. And the wedge between the marketing Haves and Have Nots is a wide one. But the economic impact of social media on overall advertising spending will be massive.  Total advertising spent in the US in 2012 was $140 billion (Kantar Media), and smart marketers with followings like Beyonce are going to pocket a good portion of that money…by being more social and not spending it. As my Norwegian aunt would say “tink about it.” Peace.  

UPDATE:  Kantar disclosed 3Q TV spend was down 6%. Read here: http://www.adweek.com/news/television/broadcast-spend-drops-18-percent-418-billion-q3-154541