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Traditional Marketing Isn't Dead Just Yet

October 7, 2009Sparxoo

By Ethan Lyon, Senior Writer

“Although we have seen the computer and mobile phone screens taking on a significant role, their emergence has not been at the cost of TV viewership,” said Jim O’Hara, President, Media Product Leadership, The Nielsen Company. As of 2009 the 290 million people in the U.S. with TVs watch on average 141 hours of programming a month. TV far outpaces online and mobile video viewership. In fact, there are more TV sets in the U.S. than there are people. The average household has three TV sets.


Traditional (or disruptive) marketing still has tremendous reach. Instead of targeting small communities on the web, traditional marketing reaches a broad audience. In that way, it’s a manageable medium to work in. Creative and smart advertising is also a part of our culture. Think “Bud. weis. er” or a sandy beach in the South Pacific. It is still a valuable medium to communicate your brand messages and cultivate new audiences.

When approaching traditional marketing, it’s important to consider:

    • Where is your audience? Do they turn on the radio at work? When they’re driving? Knowing where your audience is receiving your message can inform your creative direction and strategy.
    • What is your budget? Though many brands would enjoy gracing the 1.5 million copies of the NY Times, not everyone has the budget for such a media buy. Maximize your efforts. To effectively reach your audience, understand where they are consuming your message.
    • Can your message be effectively communicated through that media? Not all brand messages will be communicated in the same way. Consider how you would need to adapt your this Honda TV spot to print:

While you decide where to spend your marketing dollars, it’s important to understand the benefits and downsides of each medium:


thumbs-up.jpg Radio is an inexpensive medium to work in and it has tremendous reach. In fact, 95 percent of people listen to radio.

thumbs-down.jpg Though it is sometimes referred to as the “theatre of the mind,” it’s very difficult to engage audiences. It’s difficult to get your message across when your broadcasting in the background. A lot of people use radio to fill empty space.


thumbs-up.jpg It’s face-to-face time. Brands typically have a 30 second window to visually and audibly communicate a story in a way that is meaningful to their audiences.

thumbs-down.jpg With the introduction of bypass systems, such as a DVR, consumers are increasingly skipping over television programs. It’s a lot of wasted time and money spent on an ad agency, copy writer, film editors and directors, to be edited out of programming.


thumbs-up.jpg Print is a happy medium between TV and radio. It is comparatively inexpensive and brands can give readers take-away (e.g. coupons, stickers). There is also a permanence element to print. The radio or TV ad you listen to today might not be there even tomorrow.

thumbs-down.jpg Newspapers and magazines are seeing a decline in readership across the board. Digital venues, such as webpages or blogs have increased in popularity.

Banner ads

thumbs-up.jpg Banner ads can not only leave consumer impressions, but serve as a portal to your website. Banner ads are highly measurable, therefore more cost effective.

thumbs-down.jpg Web savvy users have learned to ignore the ads. Despite the flashing, red, green and blue colors, users have marked it as web spam, therefore denying its existence.

Though traditional advertising often gets pushed aside by more digital, socially savvy marketing, it still holds significance for businesses to promote products and services. TV, radio and print still dominate the average consumer’s media consumption habits. Traditional marketing isn’t dead just yet.