Clients of The Page Group have always been guided to the premise that it is a blending of effective marketing across all platforms and channels that creates a successful campaign. We recommend not rushing to new technologies until you understand how your customers are engaging and using those technologies. We recommend keeping a close eye on these trends to make sure they don’t move away from your customer and brands.We suggest that every marketing activity that you introduce include an identifiable, trackable action taking place so you can measure the effectiveness of the campaigns you run. We also recommend that you engage digital technology into your traditional media technologies to expand the impact of the message your presenting to the marketplace. There has to be a firm understanding within your organization of who your customer is and how they connect with the brands in your portfolio, and you must deliver that brand message thru those consumer touch points in a very clear, concise, and honest perspective. It must be embedded in the culture of your employee’s, in the messaging you use to communicate with your consumer, and in all those brand statements seen by your potential and current consumer marketplace. This article speaks to the importance of understanding the balance of Traditional Media with new Technologies
Traditional Media Might Be Old, But It’s Not Dead. . .Yet
CMO EXCLUSIVES | February 24, 2014
by Samuel Greengard
As CMOs and other marketing executives attempt to navigate the intricacies of today’s fickle and fast-changing consumer marketplace, it’s apparent that technology plays an increasingly critical role in driving strategies and tactics.
- Television, radio, and print remain viable and effective tools for promoting a brand and capturing mind share and market share.
- “The right balance between digital media and conventional media is critical for success.”
- Marketers turning to old media methods must think more broadly and creatively.
But somewhere between mobile, social media, and other digital channels lies an easy-to-forget reality: Old media hasn’t exactly disappeared. Indeed, television, radio, and print remain viable and effective tools for promoting a brand and capturing mind share and market share.
Sorting through this complex environment is a growing challenge–and one that requires a clear perspective. As Brian Babineau, senior vice president of content strategy and activation at Arnold Worldwide, told CMO.com: “Great scale and awareness can still come out of traditional media vehicles. Some of the most innovative advertising campaigns that have a digital, social, or content play have, at the core, made great use of television and other traditional tools to help bring the campaign story out to a larger audience.”
How can CMOs best navigate the chasm between old and new media? What goes into making effective decisions about how to define a strategy and allocate dollars? And how can an organization adopt an approach that leads to maximum synergy and bottom-line results? While there’s no template for producing results, one fact is perfectly clear: Success increasingly depends on using both old and new media effectively–and often in complementary ways.
Said Alton Adams, U.S. lead for the Customer Strategy and Growth Practice at KPMG Consulting, in an interview with CMO.com: “The goal is to ensure that you’re maximizing your marketing reach and not leaving certain customers behind because they have an affinity for old media.”
Old Screens, New Screens
During the course of the 20th century, as print, radio, and television emerged as the most common tools for reaching consumers with marketing messages, CMOs learned to craft their approach based on broad demographic trends, usually based on circulation numbers and surveys or ratings services, such as Nielsen and Arbitron. When the Web appeared in the mid-1990s and marketers began focusing on clicks, cookies, and other online behavior, the marketing landscape began to shift. By the late 2000s, gaming, social media, and digital content distribution models tilted the equation even more heavily toward so-called new media, which provides more granular ways to both measure behavior and target consumers.
“The advertising industry began to shift money and focus into the digital space because that’s where people spent more of their time,” said Russ Sapienza, a partner in the Entertainment & Media Advisory Practice at PricewaterhouseCoopers, in an interview with CMO.com. That included the Web, but also mobile platforms and apps for e-books, online publications, video content, and more. In fact, iPads, Kindles, and other mobile devices have delivered a robust distribution platform, drawing dollars and eyeballs away from old media. PwC predicts that traditional media advertising will decline by a 1.5 percent annual rate through 2017. Meanwhile, Pew Research Center reports that digital advertising grew 17 percent in 2012 to $37.3 billion.
But old media is hardly dead. In fact, to put the matter into perspective, only about 23 percent of all U.S. advertising revenues in 2012 came from digital media, a 3 percent increase over 2011. Although many newspapers and print publications are struggling and TV viewership has declined radically from peak levels–today’s shows typically claim only about 40 percent to 50 percent of the viewers their counterparts did a couple of decades ago, while newspaper ad revenues have declined by about 50 percent since 2005–old media remains a highly viable and effective tool. One needs to look only as far as the stack of mail order catalogs that stream in during the winter holidays to recognize the ongoing role of paper and print. Likewise, paper coupons predominate, and billboards still abound.
“There are a lot of situations where traditional media is actually preferable to digital media. For most businesses and in most circumstances, it continues to serve as an important part of an overall marketing strategy,” said Tom Letizia, CMO at Levy Ad Group, a Las Vegas advertising agency that has represented local car dealerships and other businesses as well as mayoral campaigns.
At a national and local level, television and print ads remain effective tools for raising brand awareness and promoting products, Letizia told CMO.com. These ads allow marketers to connect with broad demographic and psychographic profiles. They can communicate a marketing message to an audience who is older, less computer connected, and often living outside the bubble of social media.
Sorting through the options is critical. Letizia said he examines gross rating points, digital impressions, and a host of other factors to determine how to best allocate spending. Software analytics tools and services such as Nielsen, Arbitron, and Smart Plus are an important piece of the puzzle. However, marketing cannot revolve solely around numbers or too heavy of a focus on a particular approach or tool.
“It’s critical to see the big picture, have a sense of the marketplace, and understand how and where to spend marketing and advertising dollars,” Letizia said. “There’s an analytical side and an intuitive side to the equation. The right balance between digital media and conventional media is critical for success.”
It’s also critical to understand how each marketing component plays a role in advancing and communicating the overall message more effectively, Arnold Worldwide’s Babineau noted. The focus must be on advancing the overall marketing concept and presenting the story in a natural and organic way.
“Let the story and the idea lead, and determine channel mix based on where the story integrates effectively, organically, and efficiently,” he advised. “If the idea is right for the brand, and you think creatively about activating the story in media channels, you can’t go wrong in choices around connection points.”
Navigating today’s marketing environment requires a fundamentally different view, Babineau said. It’s not so much that new media is changing old media–though change is certainly taking place. It’s more about the way new media is rewiring consumer behavior.
“We are beyond a point where there are digital channels and nondigital channels–we are now at a place where consumers have digital brains,” he pointed out. “Consumers expect to be in control of what messages and content comes into their lives. They reward media and brands who know this.” As a result, old media must be smarter, target better, align brands with audiences, and be more clever about programming and content choices.
KPMG’s Adams said that marketers turning to old media methods must think more broadly and creatively. QR codes and apps such asShazam are a start–and they help generate cross-channel pollination–but it’s also necessary to think beyond a “shotgun approach” to old media and identify ways to customize paper catalogs, coupons, and print publications.
In fact, he said, he believes that the future of marketing requires more than the use of analytics to understand market segments; it means microtargeting groups based on everything from what appears on the cover of a magazine or the types of stories that a subscriber sees to the products and services that appear in advertisements. “It’s the same challenge facing digital marketers,” Adams said.
It’s also crucial to avoid confusing the difficulty of quantifying results in the old media space with a lack of results, Sapienza pointed out. Print and broadcast media carry a cache that typically isn’t possible to achieve in a virtual world filled with constantly changing Web pages, ephemeral banner ads, and tweets that constantly disappear into the vast 140-character abyss. In many cases–particularly for businesses looking to promote a brand or core product–it can provide a level of exposure that otherwise isn’t possible. Letizia said that cable, local TV, and radio can be highly effective for raising awareness about a candidate, retailer, or product. “It remains an attractive way to penetrate a marketplace,” he said.
Babineau said he believes it’s critical for CMOs to break down silos and connect teams who develop conventional media and digital media. Ultimately, everyone must be aligned on messaging and applying technology in innovative and complementary ways.
“Keeping channel-focused teams separate until a campaign is already in the 25th mile means that the stories and ideas are then too different to integrate meaningfully,” Babineau said. “Truly integrated programs create incredible scale through that interconnectedness. Brands that create holistic, cross-channel programs also find huge impact on an attitudinal level because they can effectively surround an audience with a compelling story.”
So make no mistake: Old media isn’t going to disappear anytime soon. In fact, it could very well experience a renaissance as technology matures, the marketplace becomes more savvy, and CMOs and other marketing executives gain a greater appreciation for what it can do for a brand.
“The challenge isn’t that there is an overemphasis on old vs. new media. It’s that there isn’t enough emphasis on the reality of today’s connected consumer, ” Babineau said. “Reaching them in a converged media world means breaking down those old, industry facing distinctions like old vs. new and thinking about how best to provide content and storytelling while surrounding the consumer with those story elements in all channels that make sense.”