an unsustainable trend

sooner or later there's nothing left to shrinkIn today’s digital world there’s more time spent on measuring than creating. The word used is metrics, and it refers to how the bean counters parse a grasshopper’s head hair into a thousand different points of occasionally interesting reference.

Here’s one metric that doesn’t require an introducton or a powerpoint full of pie charts. I call it “fatness”.

The 2010 Motorcycle Product News Buyer’s Guide arrived in today’s mail – and it didn’t take Spidey Sense to figure out PDQ that the gas tank’s nearly empty.

My “fatness” index clearly proves that MPN’s Buyer’s Guide lost 3/16″ over the past 12 months, going from a still respectable 1/2″ in December, 2008, to an anemic 5/16″ in December, 2009. At one time this annual issue required a small burro to transport.

It’s no secret that A) advertisers are fleeing print and that B) powersports is leaking market like the Titanic took on ice water. This isn’t about any particular brand or channel. It’s just an honest take on a distressing trend that shows no signs of improvement.

As someone comfortable in either print or web I see a massive error in judgement in the stampeded abandonment of print advertising for the evolving medium of the internet. For a great take on how monster good advertising does work, and more importantly about how the entire retail conversation is interrelated, check the blog entry by Social Media guru Chris Brogan on his prediction about the future of retail.