Five reasons why traditional advertising still matters

Brands today are seemingly obsessing over digital. They’re scrambling against each other to be number one in the SERPs, crafting blogs that are the ’perfect’ length with just the right amount of keywords and meticulously devising the winning formulas for ‘the best’ engagement on social media. While digital channels may well be serving up more opportunities for brands, let’s remind ourselves why traditional advertising still matters in the media mix.

  1. Traditional doesn’t mean outdated in the context of advertising:

We’re aware that linear TV viewing habits are changing and that print circulations are in decline, but they are not obsolete. The younger audiences are more likely to view TV or video content on other devices but in 2016 16–34-year olds were still watching over two hours of tele a day on a TV set, and it was 1 hour 42 mins a day for the under 16’s, which has dipped by only 9 minutes versus 2015*. When it comes to the newspapers, it’s the popular dailies that are bearing the brunt with the younger audiences opting for online, while the quality weekend titles are stable or improving their print runs**. Traditional media like TV and press is still consumed, despite what the digital evangelists might say.

2. Reach and frequency is required for awareness, and awareness is required for growth:

Broadcast and traditional media like TV, press and radio, provides mass exposure, meaning you will be able to reach a large volume of your audience by broadcasting your message to it. If you have something to say, your message can be delivered repeatedly or in frequency, over time, giving your audience time to process what you are telling them. With the fast-paced nature of how content is consumed online, it can be much more difficult to deliver a single-minded message in the digital space and achieve the same attention, compared with traditional media.

3. Traditional media is effective, and it’s measurable. You just need to bother to measure it:

What’s most effective? The argument lies in favour of digital channels, because each click and action is easily measured and it’s agile enough to be tweaked and tuned throughout your campaign. But put in place digital brand metrics in line with your offline advertising and start monitoring the impact; direct traffic, brand search, clickshare and traffic spikes can give you the insight on the effectiveness of your offline media against your baseline statistics.

4. People are more likely to trust your brand when they see your ads in traditional advertising environments:

63% of consumers would respond more positively to a social media ad if it appeared on a more traditional advertising channel and over 40% have ad blocking software on their devices, clearly telling digital marketers that the invasive nature of digital advertising is too much for many. With some 60% raising the fact of objectionable content being an issue, it should be a real concern for marketers as to where their ads are served through their digital and programmatic advertising^— your ad appearing next to editorial on terrorism, or at the beginning of an explicit music video for example, doesn’t leave a good impression and can be controlled using offline media.

Based on a survey by MarketingSherpa in the US, here is an interesting chart to better visualise the level of trust we as consumers have in brands advertising through the media that they use. Printed ads in the newspapers and magazines earn the most trust with 82% of the respondents, followed by TV (80%), Mail (76%) and radio ads (71%). Google sits in 6th position beneath the traditional broadcast media.

5. Offline media will complement your online efforts; and likewise your online efforts will complement your offline media — it’s a holistic relationship:

When someone embarks on a generic search and the results are delivered back to them, how will they decide on their first click? Position in the results page is one thing, meta description is another, but familiarity with your brand name and understanding what you represent is another important component. Tell people your story and why they should choose you, and see how this impacts your search performance.

Reference articles used: