How big is this onslaught against traditional media? Last night I interviewed Benno Dorer, the new CEO of Clorox (CLX), and I almost fell out of my chair when he said he had now shifted 30% of his media budget to online, particularly Google (GOOGL). Why? Because he says he demands to know his return on investment and the online dollars are more accountable and deliver more.
Holy cow. Clorox.
Now, Clorox isn't your parents' Clorox. It has updated its product lines. It is trying to think more youthfully. When there is a big flu epidemic, it follows it through social media -- not the Weather Channel, as Benno joked -- and it knows where to send extra disinfectants where the stores might otherwise run out.
But this is a lightning, not glacial, change and it is the other side of the cord cutting. Not only has traditional media become besieged by the overpricing of cable, but the deliverables, what can be promised and who can be reached, simply aren't as good, according to the CEO of Clorox.
Now remember, when you hear Google what that means is programmatic. You write Google a check and it gets your ads for a very low price to whatever sites algorithmically produce the most likely buyers of Clorox goods.
Clorox has many different shop-keeping units targeting many demos -- think of Burt's Bees with its organic, non-petroleum-based lip balms -- so it doesn't make sense to just make some big old media ad buy. The Web can be niche enough and gamed enough that the Burt's Bees ads hit far more sought-after targets than others.
It cannot be lost on the other consumer packaged goods companies that the company with the greatest acceleration in its industry is now spending far more online than they are. So, you can only expect to see more, not less, money going to Google and Facebook (FB) and AOL (AOL) and Yahoo! (YHOO) and even Twitter (TWTR), if only the latter could possibly figure out how to get people to read it or pay for it.