Wednesday, September 23, 2009

TV Still Relevant, But Social Media Takes Center Stage: Marketers

CNBC's Advertising Week summit on how marketers connect to consumers could have been called "No, really, we love TV!" The discussion was intended to be a free-roaming exploration about consumer passion, authenticity, and marketing challenges in a world that has little trust for business. But the gravitational pull of Facebook (whose COO Sheryl Sandberg was, appropriately enough, seated dead center) kept the conversation on social media.

The apparent subtext that TV might need to get its affairs in order wasn't lost on host Becky Quick, co-host of CNBC's "Squawk Box" show, who rhetorically asked more than once whether she would have a job next year.

"Television is still important," said Dan Rosensweig, president and CEO of Guitar Hero. "People have to re-think how they advertise. At Guitar Hero we took 40% of our budget that used to be on TV and it moved to the Internet. Television is wonderful, but when you have incredible sites like Facebook, you have to be smart with what you do, where your consumer is and how to reach them all the time."

He said the change was hard to sell to a skeptical employee base at first. "Guitar Hero was very successful, so I had to sit there and make the case. But if you look at Guitar Hero 5, we have nearly a million fans on Facebook. Where else can you find a million people who say, 'I love your product -- please communicate with me?'"

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