End of Traditional Media

End of Traditional Media

Are we reallyexperiencing "gameover"​ for traditionalmedia?

The marketeer's role to identify the audience for a product or service and work out the most cost-effective means of communicating with that audience. Trouble is, if the marketeer is only choosing digital options, myopia will lead to a slow decline and eventual decline as inevitable as Boris becoming PM. Traditional media could be being shelved by narrow-minded and lazy marketing, where digital media's disruption over the last 20 years finally "kills off" elements of traditional media. I even have "expert" clients telling me this, ignoring, or refusing to invest in, offline or traditional media.

Skylight Media have over 25 years of marketing knowledge, from broadcast media, traditional media and digital media perspectives

Whilst what we do is centred around digital services, traditional media does form part of what we recommend and plan. It may be declining, but we're not so sure trade media is dead.

There's no denying digital media's reach is extensive and still growing, predicted by Zenith ROI (July, 2019) to claw in 52% of global ad revenue by 2021. Digital has fragmented into thousands of opportunities, taking the lion's share of ad spend in many sectors in the UK (see Marketing Week, June, 2019). It's supposed to be efficient, flexible, reputed to be carbon-friendly (questionable!), traceable and its effectiveness can be proven statistically (you can't argue with the figures) to work. Yes, it is truly brilliant in its versatility, but not all the time. And latest news (Guardian, 2019) suggests there may be a shift occurring, so maybe just maybe don't throw out traditional quite yet.

Perception vs reality

Looking at the chart below by Ubiquity (2018), there does appear to be a problem with trad media's perception. The study considers the actual evidence collected and the chart below illustrates the disparity between reality and advertisers' and agencies' perception of it:

Accepting that stats can be manipulated to say anything, evidence says that trad media is far more widely used than agencies think, though it is less measurable. Adding Mark Ritson's report on "Clueless Marketers" (Marketing Week, March 2018), maybe that's the crux of the matter, that justification for spend outside digital is that much harder without the stats. Yet consider that the bigger, most successful, brands use a multi media approach, not by sticking their entire budget into digital, like most small businesses. And this is where the split is. Facebook and Uber, intrinsic to the digital revolution, use wide-ranging, creative media treatment to continue to communicate via all available channels. Their goal? To reach the masses, to be conspicuous, so they become or retain standing as a cultural reference, not just effective short-term conversion, to maintain share of mind and positioning. People need to see, feel and hear a brand, through multiple "touchpoints" in order to identify with it long-term, to trust it, engage with it and feel that they connect with it, not just a product. Those touchpoints should cover all relevant media for the specific brand, product and campaign, not just digital for all.

So please don't just take the digital route because it's "sooo measurable", because it appears to be where all the smart money goes, because it's the easy option, etc. Go and do the research, don't be afraid to experiment, consider the mix and relevance of multiple media channels, but think about the creative, please think about that, as that's the memorable bit, often the effective part, not the stats.

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