5 Reasons to Keep Traditional Media In The Mix

It’s estimated that this year, digital advertising will account for nearly 67% of all media spend, according to eMarketer. While during the first year of the pandemic ad spend was flat — as many brands either pulled their creative entirely or significantly reduced budgets in Q1 and Q2 — digital grew by almost 15%. It makes sense, given that digital media offers tight audience targeting capabilities due to an abundance of consumer data, as well as tracking opportunities.

If the campaign is structured correctly, tracking can deliver solid metrics and insight into ROI on the media spend. Comparatively, even though traditional media tracking capabilities have advanced, it’s still a guessing game to tie spend back to performance.

Coupled with the rise of digital, the media landscape is increasingly complicated. The best approach is an integrated one — utilizing both digital and traditional tactics. Here are five strengths of traditional media to consider when building an integrated campaign:



More real estate. Smart traditional media placements can complement your digital campaign, in many cases offering additional real estate for comprehensive storytelling. This is particularly good for brand campaigns. Out-of-home can be used strategically as location support, while print ads provide a tactile experience for brand engagement.

Added value. Traditional media offers far more opportunity for added value than digital. For example, no-charge bonus media schedules and promotions extend a campaign in-market beyond paid schedules, providing additional media weight at no additional cost. Experienced buyers can exceed the 3%-5% industry standard in added value, typically negotiating a 20%+ return, far outweighing digital.

Content alignment. Traditional broadcast and print media offer more content alignment opportunities, allowing the message to complement what audiences are already seeing. Negotiating fixed positions adjacent to this content through sponsorships and specific placement can help brands avoid getting lost in the clutter.

Endorsement opportunities. Endorsements promote credibility, particularly for campaigns meant for diverse audiences. By leveraging endorsements with “original influencers,” from DJs to on-air broadcast personalities, messaging is delivered by people whom audiences already trust, allowing paid content to come across naturally.

Internal alignment. It’s normal to want to see a campaign in-market once it launches. However, clients and their internal teams may not always be the target audience for a digital campaign, therefore not ever seeing it. By using smartly placed traditional awareness tactics that will be seen by internal teams, the campaign will gain support internally and encourage investment in the initiative.

While digital media is a critical component of paid campaign strategies, traditional media tactics still have unique strengths. Depending on location, demographics and other key qualifiers, there can be an argument made to focus on one over the other. Integrating both digital and traditional together can expand reach and engagement, while also increasing impact.

1 comment about "5 Reasons to Keep Traditional Media In The Mix".
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  1. Ed Papazian from Media Dynamics Inc, June 23, 2021 at 5:26 p.m.

    Andy, traditional media accounts for something like 75% of ad spend on branding campaigns, so don't fall for those bloated stats about overall "ad" spending. Much of the digital spend is for "ads" that would never run on TV, radio or magazines.

    As for reasons to use traditional media, aside from massive reach and 100% ad exposure levels without fraudsters stealing large parts  of your ad budget, or ad blockers shielding consumers from them, consider the costs of buying digital media. Where advertisers pay anywhere from 1-3% for full service traditional media buying, including transmitting the ads to the medium, post buy analysis, audience research by Nielsen, MRI/Simmons, etc. paid by the agencies, etc.,the corresponding costs for digital buys---- if executed via programmatic---- are at least ten times higher and sometimes a lot more. And the "audience" stats are provided by each seller with no way to verify them---there seems to be a lot of computer glitches favoring the sellers in recent years---and no way to determine your reach across venues. And what exactly is the audience "currency" anyway? Do you accept the idea that a display ad is considered "viewed" if the ad appears on the user's screen for at least one second--or that a video commercial is "viewed" if it's on-screen for at least two seconds?

    This may seem like I'm bashing digital media but in reality it has much to offer---except it simply isn't organized like a grown up advertising medium. That time may eventually come---but in the mean time advertisers must move with caution---and move they should---as even now, digital media deserves an important place on many branding ad scheduleds---in my opinion.

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