By 1999, an Internet connection was standard in 1 out of 3 American households. As of 2015, 8 out of 10 American adults had either a smartphone or a home broadband subscription.
In 2000, just 2 out of 10 Americans had made an online purchase. As of 2015, 8 of 10 were regular online shoppers.
With the shift towards digital media, it was natural for marketers to make a similar shift towards digital advertising, including SEO and PPC as well as content, email, and social media marketing.
Initially, these efforts were so successful at reaching markets that many experts were led to ask the question: Is traditional marketing dead?
The answer may have seemed clear even as recently as 2014, but ad blockers and digital exhaustion are now making industry leaders reconsider how confidently they can make that claim.
To paraphrase Mark Twain: News of traditional advertising’s death have been grossly over-exaggerated.
The perks of digital marketing
There’s no doubt that digital marketing offers businesses a number of advantages, including:
- 24 hour, global access
- Consumer habit tracking
- Optimization for conversion
- Easy analysis and adaptation
- Increased competitiveness
But it’s also important to acknowledge that digital is not as bullet-proof as we once suspected. Video didn’t ultimately kill the radio star, nor have digital ads killed traditional platforms.
The obstacles digital advertising faces
Digital marketing does have limits. According to studies conducted by PageFair and Adobe in 2015, ad blocking users grew from 21 million in 2010 to 181 million in 2015 with an estimated global revenue loss of nearly $22 billion in 2015 alone.
In addition to consumers who want to get around ads, more and more digital users are suffering from “digital fatigue.” They’re making conscious decisions to step away from the screen, which means they’re becoming more selective about where they spend their online time.
How traditional advertising bolsters digital
As early as 2013, Newsweek’s print magazine showed a 90% surge in revenue, and with 2016’s contentious election and outcries over “fake news,” The New York Times as well as the Los Angeles Times and The Wall Street Journal have all shown unparalleled growth in subscription sales.
Even without the resurgence in traditional media, however, it would have been a mistake to pronounce traditional marketing dead. Traditional marketing includes all of the advertising that takes place IRL. Yes. Real life. It’s still a thing.
While Americans may have easy access to the Internet, it’s not yet globally ubiquitous. Traditional media, on the other other hand, is. You’d be hard-pressed to find anyplace in the world where families don’t gather around televisions or radios. In America, 99% of families own a TV.
For every television, there are thousands of stations catering to very specific audience segments with their programming. That makes it easy for advertisers to hyper-target their desired markets, reducing budget waste and improving ROI.
While marketing emails may be sent directly to Junk Mail without ever landing before your prospect’s eyes, direct mail marketing – you know, the kind you get in your real life mailbox – elicits action from 79% of consumers.
Your audience may be able to block ads online, but there’s no way to block out billboards and bench advertising.
And while readers may have grown weary of being bombarded with fast-paced bad news on Facebook, a 2016 Pew Research Center study found that around half of newspaper readers in three U.S. metropolitan cities (Denver, Colo., Macon, Ga., and Sioux City, Iowa) are still willing to indulge in “slow” print journalism.
Synthesizing advertising strategies to create measurable results
Morgan & Co. is a data-driven advertising agency that combines years of experience with technical expertise and innovative analytics to target the ideal audiences on the most effective platforms for our clients. Our team has extensive knowledge and understanding of all media platforms, and we work to negotiate optimal placement for our clients’ best value. Contact us today to learn more about how our experts can help you extend your reach through a synthesis of digital and traditional media strategies.
How is your business using traditional and digital media to reach audiences?