In the continuing excitement over all things interactive, it’s easy to overlook one of the most important indications in the latest US Interactive Marketing Forecast, from Forrester Research. Yes, the report clearly indicates that interactive has arrived as a permanent part of the marketing mix– but, just as clearly, it also shows that traditional media isn’t going way.
TV OR NO TV? THERE IS NO QUESTION.
Just look at Forrester’s numbers– a combined 67% of US interactive marketers expect that TV will either increase in importance, or retain its importance. As you can see in this excerpted chart, direct mail, magazines, outdoor and radio are also expected to maintain, or increase, their influence in the overall marketing picture, at similarly high confidence levels.
SO WHY HASN’T NEW MEDIA KILLED OFF THE OLD?
Pundits have been predicting for years that the online world would completely supplant offline – and I’ve long had the impression that many marketing managers feel they’ll be perceived as outdated if they continue to embrace traditional media at all. But as the Forrester report keeps repeating, success isn’t to be found in any one type of media, new or old – the magic is in the mix. And in today’s marketing mix, traditional media offers these three sometimes overlooked advantages
1. Offline media drives people online – fast.
Attention may concentrate around the brushfire-fast nature of videos or tweets going viral, but many bedrock elements for online marketing, such as blogging, or building an email list through content offers, take time to build an organic audience and have an impact. However, a targeted print ad with your white paper as an offer can rapidly build response and an initial following – the old push can help turbocharge the new pull.
2. Traditional media – especially TV – can say “this is important”
Media that was once known to the masses can still convey a largely emotional halo effect of significance – or, as a prospect said to one of our tech clients after seeing the TV spot we’d created for exclusive use around CES (via a targeted cable buy), “I almost cut myself shaving – I didn’t know you were on TV!” If you want to burnish your brand image – or even help establish one as a serious player – traditional media can still provide that big-time glow.
3. Where content is king, storytelling media reigns
As content marketing becomes more pervasive it also needs to become more creative if it is going to continue to be attractive (in every sense of the word). TV, print and radio all offer exceptional opportunities to tap into the combined rational/emotional persuasiveness of well-told stories. This may mean branded content, like webisode series that cross over to cable, or print vehicles such as bylined articles. In fact, it can mean whatever you can dream up. We once created a full length song for a mutual fund that never once mentioned the fund but tapped directly into the lifestyle of its prospective boomer investors – the artist’s major label liked the song, and promotional potential, well enough that they offered to put it on the artist’s next album (sadly, the client did not approve).
What creative combinations of new and traditional media are you mixing up – and to what effect?