Marketing – New Media vs Traditional Media

We are often asked by clients for advice on allocating budgets between New Media vs Traditional Media and if Traditional Media is still an effective marketing tool.

The short answer is that campaigns need to strike a balance between the different media channels and engagement platforms. Different media is applicable for different reasons and will achieve different campaign objectives.

The pros & cons of traditional media are well documented and accepted so to help answer this question, let’s take a look at some of the key positives and negatives of “new media” and highlight a couple of traps to avoid.

New Media – The Good!

Websites are such a great marketing tool that it’s hard to imagine a world without them, and online advertising has really revolutionised our industry.

There is no doubt that online marketing and popular measurement and reporting tools have advanced the science and measurability of marketing campaigns.

This is an absolute positive of new media and digital platforms and is one of the key things that makes it so appealing to the marketing profession and to clients.

We are consistently delighted that we can easily test and measure the effectiveness of campaigns and have access to the benefits of digital media.

It is a great engagement tool and a fantastic platform for customers to complete research to support their purchasing process and decision.

New media is also typically very cost-effective and a great way of keeping customers warm and re-engaged as they move through the buying cycle.

The “good” aspects of traditional media are well established so we can just touch on them here. High level of reach, ability to achieve frequency, audiences who are often choosing to engage with the media (print/tv).

New Media – The Traps!

There are a number of traps or things to watch-out for when considering new media – some of these only apply to new media, others apply equally well to traditional media. It is important to keep these in mind when planning a campaign.

Tunnel Vision: One of the key problems with new media is that the ease of measurement is very seductive. We now have a generation of marketing managers and businesses who have been seduced by the ease of measurement and justification of digital and are excluding other valid media and marketing options from their campaigns. This is evidenced by the distressed rates we are seeing across traditional media.

Unfortunately, too many times we see a self-fulfilling prophecy where marketing managers can report that “digital works” so they can justify tipping more budget into digital platforms without really properly considering the other options that are open to them.

Clutter: This is a problem across all platforms but clutter is something to consider in digital media also. There is now so much content and so many different platforms that getting through the clutter can be a problem. Consumers are also learning to tune out to flashing banner ads or web platforms and are placing restrictions on the types of ads that can be run in order to protect the user experience making it harder to get the consumers attention.

Distraction: The amazing amount of content on the web means that it can become a black hole and users can move quickly from one topic to another meaning that they can be easily distracted and won’t linger to engage properly with a message.

Annoyance: Adverts on TV are annoying but we’ve got used to them and given most of us now record and watch TV or Foxtel we can easily skip through the adverts or on Netflix we can avoid them all together. We understand that pop-up ads on websites or sponsored adverts at the start of video clips are necessary but it doesn’t make them any less annoying – and don’t forget the frustration of the false promise of “click-bait”.

Engagement: Just because the report has some impressive numbers it doesn’t mean that they will drive sales. An impression doesn’t always mean your message has been noticed – a click through doesn’t mean a customer is then engaged – and enquiry isn’t always a hot lead.

Knee-jerk Reactions: One of the benefits of new media is how quickly we can react however this can also be its downfall. Sometimes a campaign needs a little time to bed in – don’t be too harsh to judge the creative or the messages until you have it a reasonable run time.

Going Viral: Understand what you can realistically achieve with your brand, your product, your campaign, and your budget. Don’t count on that new social media clip going viral unless it is really good – just like traditional media, you’ll be more likely to need consistent advertising over a number of weeks or months to build engagement and response.

Fragmentation: Another key problem with digital media is the degree of fragmentation. There are constantly new platforms, new portals, and new ideas to choose from all of which can stretch the campaign budget too far to be effective. As with traditional media, it is best to focus on the big and trusted platforms and balance this with some targeted spend for more niche options only where they meet a specific target market.

So What Should We Do?

While the options have evolved and new media offers some fantastic opportunities to reach and engage with customers, the fundamental rule of campaign planning has not changed.

It’s important to manage the marketing touch points across a range of media as different media enables customers to interact with brands in different ways.

An effective marketing campaign needs to balance “umbrella” or mass media marketing tools to generate awareness with the targeted and direct tools that deliver engagement and action.

MJH Group has significant experience crafting successful Marketing Strategies and effective Marketing Campaigns for clients across every industry vertical.

The Director of MJH Group Marcus Hancock has been working with traditional media since the early 90’s and digital media since the late 90’s and has a broad spectrum of experience and understanding to draw from.

If you have any questions about this article or getting the most from your marketing program please contact us on 1300 905 116 or via email enquiries@mjhgroup.com.au