If New Media Is So Cheap, Why Is It So Expensive?

Today, more than ever, companies are turning to new media, especially online, as a vehicle to stretch their marketing dollars and keep their visibility high. Some people mistakenly believe that uploading videos to the Internet is all it takes to have a strong online presence. And, if even high school and college students, can do it -- then the road to new media should be easy and relatively inexpensive.

These marketers are often surprised to find that new media requires a good percentage of marketing dollars and, even more importantly, a strategy.

The good news is a professional marketing firm can easily help companies understand how to best spend money in this new online environment and determine whether the money is netting real results.

First, it is important to understand the costs behind new media.

Budgeting for online media versus traditional media

Traditional advertisers and agencies have taken a working vs. non-working dollar approach to budgeting, with the typical 10% benchmark being thrown out as a guide. This guide will not work for online media planning, because while impressions cost much less, the planning and management time expenditure can be considerably more.



More time must be invested up-front to develop a sound and strategic plan. In addition, time must be spent monitoring online campaigns to ensure real-time opportunities are not lost. In other words, the "set it and forget" traditional channel view must be replaced with a "constant monitor" approach.

Take into Account the Extensibility Factor

When developing an online campaign, it is critical to analyze Internet users' online behavior. To help drive the user to heed the company's online "call to action," companies must maximize impressions via landing pages and websites. Databases and analytics tools also further optimize the working dollars spent.

By further integrating new media tactics with powerful back-end databases and intricate infrastructure, an organization can acquire critical information about the audience to leverage in other campaigns. In addition, the seamless integration of these new media tactics with traditional sales force tracking can streamline processes and ensure audience demographic information is accurate and current.

The Value of Experience

One of the primary cost factors in working with a marketing team to develop new media campaigns is the bottom line concept of "experience matters."

Agencies, freelancers and internal team members who have a background in developing and executing new media campaigns have an accurate understanding of the process and also have the experience of anticipating and preparing for common obstacles. When coding is not working, or a new initiative is failing to work as designed, experienced new media marketers quickly can develop work-around solutions.

New Media, Right Now

When you look at the expansive nature of the web and the volumes of new user-generated content created on a daily basis, the supply of opportunities seems limitless compared to traditional channels. Two online impressions versus one TV impression cost about 40% less and statistically have a higher impact on brand measures. So, is new media worth marketing dollars?

In the end, online continues to be a cost effective option compared with traditional media. Although new media requires an initial investment and continual support on the tools and technology side, the price is still far below traditional media. For those organizations who want to extend their marketing dollars in a strategic fashion, deploying an integrated campaign leveraging both traditional and new media channels will demonstrate the highest performance.

1 comment about "If New Media Is So Cheap, Why Is It So Expensive? ".
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  1. Anne Simons from, December 17, 2008 at 11:19 a.m.

    There are a lot of misconceptions about the cost and experience required to successfully execute online marketing campaigns and this post does a great job of explaining what’s required. Good article.

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