Media is becoming more and more fragmented. Fewer and fewer of us are ALL viewing/watching/ interacting with the same media, let alone the same channel (not as in TV channels, but “channels of media”).

There are more niched categories available now within channels (radio, TV, interwebs – blogs, podcasts, etc., newspapers) than ever before.

Think of it like a TV. The more channels there are, the fewer people will be watching any single channel. So, as the number of TV stations grows, there are fewer people available to watch each station since the numbers of viewers are diluted on a per channel basis and not growing at the same rate as the TV channels. Whereas NBC used to have 5 million viewers because they were one of 5 options, they might now have 1 million and the other 4 million are watching 50 other channels. The channel of TV itself has become fragmented.

And now, add on the interweb for a whole new media channel with a zillion websites to visit…and at any one time during the day, the marketplace is hugely fragmented with no majority of participants getting the same message at the same time. They are scattered out within that media channel.

Just a few years ago, there were 3 stations and usually a local upstart station in the markets I recall as a kid. There were ABC, NBC and CBS. And, almost always, a PBS plus the small local station.

Here in Oregon, there was a Channel 12 that served Oregon and SW Washington, which is where I grew up.

And, everyone watched those stations. They had no other choice. The interwebs didn’t yet exist.

Let’s talk newspapers. 10 years ago, newspapers were in nearly every home. They had tremendous penetration. Everyone read (that wanted to know what was going on) the newspaper in business.

Today, newspaper circulations have plummeted.

However, that doesn’t mean they are a bad advertising investment. Like ANY MEDIA YOU want to use to attract new patients, TEST first. Then, analyze. Then, test again.

You shouldn’t run from a media just because the audience is dropping. (It does suggest finding and experimenting with alternative media ASAP)

What’s more, in addition to audience fragmentation, today, we also must contend and consider smaller, niched media.

A simple example would be the newspaper that is targeted at the Senior & Boomer market. While those same readers might also read the local daily newspaper and surf Drudge Report, they see this niched publication as specifically for them. By being in a media that they “trust” or believe is all about them and their unique situation, YOU being in there means you are in a sense, by default, for them.

Make sense?

{BIG BENEFIT: It also allows you to really tailor you message to the presumed reader of that specialty newspaper.}

Although I occasionally get frustrated because of the fragmentation of media, it has its upside. And that I believe, is simply have an audience that is paying attention to messages that are all about and tailored for them – which means you take a rifleman’s approach vs. the spray and pray strategy.

Sure, spraying your message everywhere gets the job done, but why waste all the lead and the money on the unqualified or disinterested? Why not just one bullet to get it done?

So, when you have an opportunity to run ads in different highly-niched and targeted media, and there is a LOT more media out there than we can likely be in all the time, it can provide you a better result with a more focused plan of attack to get it.

In other words, instead of a creating a general brochure that includes all the services you offer for all ages and dental issues, you’re creating a simple, laser-focused message about the benefits of implants. Or, dentures. Or, laser perio therapy.