Mass media’s not as dead as you think

For the last few years, advertisers have had two words burnt into their brain when it comes to marketing and media buying – hyper targeting. Why waste money and resources on media that will not only produce a significant amount of waste, but may miss the mark altogether? The reasoning appeared sound and everyone jumped on board, backing digital to quickly beat out traditional mass media.

As we know, digital (and social) became a huge movement with an immense audience. Marketers could almost hand pick their targets. The ads worked. They just didn’t work as well as everyone thought they would.

The right time and place

Digital advertising is probably still the best option for smaller and midsize companies, however. The fact remains that you can reach the right audience for not a whole lot of money, and that’s extremely appealing. Back that up with some strategic activity on social media plus some solid analytics, and you’re able to see exactly what’s working and what’s not – something that’s a little more difficult to figure out from a billboard.

Money talks

The only thing more telling than those fancy analytical programs, however, are sales. You just can’t argue with plain old sales. A comprehensive study on ROI was fielded in 2016 which showed that brands that converted to fully digital advertising experienced a downturn in sales. So far, 2017 has also shown a major return to traditional media with spending increases of 25 percent for broadcast TV, 26 percent for cable TV and 18 percent for radio.

Tough to get going on digital alone

The folks at Page Agency, a boutique creative shop in Dallas, believe that one thing that limits hyper targeted digital advertising, when compared to TV or radio ads, is the lack of a community. “There’s sort of a momentum that builds when we build an audience of people through mass media, like TV or radio. It’s not really the same when you only have that one, small thing in common with another consumer, that thing that was picked out by the marketer.”

On top of that, it’s been proven that a well rounded campaign that touches many media will  build on itself. The radio ad forces you pay more attention to the TV ad. The TV ad will draw your eyes to an ad online. So on and so on. It’s a phenomenon that you may have noticed in your own life. Once you’ve seen something for the first time, you begin noticing it everywhere.
In the end, it looks like there may not be a new sheriff in town after all. Reach is still large and in charge when it comes to conversions. It turns out that the more people that see your ads, the more sales you make, which means that TV, along with many other traditional mass media, isn’t down for the count just yet.

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