The following post was previously published in an earlier edition of Marketing Insider.
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.