These days, it can kind of seem like traditional marketing is dead on arrival. After all, aren’t consumers way too sophisticated for the musty old tactics of the past like billboards and TV commercials? Our attention spans are way too short, and we just want to watch cat videos on our phones while catching the latest episode of Games of Thrones (spoiler alert: there’s more incest!). For an inbound marketing and Des Moines video production company like us, we’d love to tell our clients that :30 cat videos for Facebook and a lead form are where it’s at, but like all good things, Des Moines marketing, not to mention marketing beyond Iowa, is a bit more complicated.
As more marketing budgets swing from traditional print and television media buys to digital ones and public relations budgets move towards content creation rather than media relation spend, marketers can feel like they are stuck on a hamster wheel. Weren’t we just told that the modern consumer has no attention span? But at the same time we’re supposed to be pouring budget back into longform content creation.
Like all good things, it’s a bit more complicated – after all, consumers can have short attention spans all the while craving longform content that’s dynamic, interesting and totally binge-worthy. So, what does that mean for your marketing budget and focus when you contemplate what media your content should be created for? It’s easy to read articles like this one and wonder if your budget should go entirely digital. The answer: It’s probably time to find the middle. Your budgets should be trending more towards a digital buy, but that doesn’t mean it’s time to abandon all of your traditional outlets – whether it’s TV, direct mail or even a billboard.
So, when is it time to go traditional?
Your Demographics Dictate It. It’s easy to get caught up in social media and digital marketing demographics – more people than ever are online, so your brand needs to be online, right? Well, yes, but a lot of folks are still making buying decisions on messages received from more traditional platforms – whether it’s TV or radio. 90 percent of Americans still listen to AM/FM radio weekly, so radio still has value, we promise. So depending on your demographics, it could make sense to explore both a buy on your local morning radio morning show and check out what podcasts your peeps are listening to. It’s kind of like having your traditional and non-traditional cake and eating both of them (the more cake, the better!). Are you trying to reach an older audience? While they are definitely heading online in greater droves than ever before, they are still receiving a great deal of their information via traditional means. Are you attempting to reach an underserved audience? Maybe you’re attempting to reach urban, vulnerable populations that don’t have regular digital access. An aggressive advertising strategy on public transportation might be a better fit. Like all things in marketing, to make the right call, you need to know thy audience.
Your Strategy Needs Some Integration. An integrated marketing strategy, huh? Remember that lovely phrase? Or colloquially, maybe it’s not the right time to put all your eggs in a digital basket. When awareness is your goal and you’re looking to reach a wider audience, a digital + traditional approach is probably going to be your best bet. It might not be trendy, but it will help you harness your focus and your budget most effectively, while making sure you’re not missing your core audiences.
It’s Time to Make A Statement. Sometimes, you just want to make a statement with your brand – remember the time Drake professed his love for RiRi via billboard? Are you looking to make a bold splash? Traditional advertising methods might just help you do that. It’s the same reason brands drop millions on just the ad placement costs for one of those coveted Football Game That Shall Not Be Named Because of Trademark Infringement spots. If you’re looking to make a big impact culturally and cut through the advertising and messaging noise, it might make a lot sense for your brand to make that big billboard buy or TV ad buy. Plus, the right kind of impact with traditional can garner you a lot of buzz on social and digital. A nice double dip of amplification.
Something Else to Consider. There’s no doubt that many marketers adore digital because of its flexibility, relatively low cost (for now) and perhaps most importantly, its ability to be tracked and provide ROI back to a skeptical CMO or sales team. So, when you decide it’s time to go traditional, think about how you can integrate ways to gather ROI. On that splashy full page magazine or newspaper ad, does it make sense to add a unique URL in your CTA so you can track how many readers actually go online to learn more? Should your next radio ad have a special coupon code so you know how many folks listen to the end of your :30 spot? The answer is definitely, Yes! Track the heck out of your advertising – and it will help you make even better choices the next time it’s time to make a buy or create a strategy.
Ready to explore what traditional can do for you? We’d love to help you craft that next kick a** TV commercial so hit us up here, and we’ll be in touch!