Digital ad spending is expected to grow to more than $129 billion in 2021, with expenditures for digital ads surpassing TV for the first time ever in 2016 (eMarketer). As spending continues to shift, media technology is evolving, and digital targeting and data are becoming more specific, it’s essential for businesses to have a strategic mix of traditional and digital advertising in order to reach today’s consumer.
First, all media is impactful if used correctly. Every demographic is influenced by multiple channels in various degrees to make day-to-day buying decisions. In a comprehensive study conducted by Google in April 2011 called “Google/Shopper Sciences, Zero Moment of Truth Macro Study,” the data revealed that the average shopper used 10.4 sources of information to make a decision. These sources include both digital and traditional channels which support the fact that a proper media mix is critical to the success of a branding or call to action campaign.
However, business owners need to avoid the “focus group of one” mentality which limits the media decision-making process to only the channels a business owner personally consumes. The key to breaking out of this mentality is to understand where your audience is and how they are consuming media. For example, Gen Z-ers spend more time reading newspapers and magazines without interruption than they do on social media, websites and blogs (2018 MNI Targeted Media – Generation Z: Unique & Powerful). Many of us believe that we are behind technology or we are behind our competitors. The truth is that we are only behind the customer or consumer (Rishad Tobaccowala, Chief Strategy & Innovation Officer, VivaKi).
In addition to understanding your audience, clients also should recognize that traditional channels are continuously making technological improvements to their platforms in addition to improving their digital products. At MESH, we regularly meet with both digital and traditional partners and are educated on the technological advances being made with the traditional platforms. As a result, we’re armed with the most current information that will allow us to make an informed and impactful strategic media plan.
In spite of having the perfect mix of traditional and digital media, no campaign will be successful if your online storefront is not present or updated. Although traditional media is very much in play today, consumers typically start their decision-making process online by searching for a particular product or service. Your website is your business and will provide a way for consumers to engage with your brand on any device at any time, no matter which medium directed them there. Sixty-three percent of consumers use websites to find or engage with businesses (Local Search Association, April 2017 report) and approximately 50% say a website is the biggest determinant of whether they trust a company. In short, first impressions count and in today’s world, your website is your first impression.
Traditional and digital media aside, it’s important to remember the basics in order to run a successful campaign, regardless of the spend.
- Start with the brand to ensure you have a solid foundation.
- Define the audience.
- Integrate the media placement into the brand and marketing strategy
- Determine the channels that will secure the most effective cost, ROI and media mix.