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The Convergence of Old and New Media

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The Convergence of Old and New Media

The question everyone is asking, “Is Traditional Media really dead?”


Do these stats make you want to hit the panic button? Don’t reach for it just yet. We’ll tell you why all the hype on New Media isn’t a reason to abandon Traditional Media. A convergence is taking place that can provide opportunities to leverage the best of both.

While New Media seems to receive all the hype, has Traditional Media really become obsolete? Despite the propaganda in favor of this proposition, we know this not to be true. We know consumers are in fact impacted by our traditional efforts and messaging. When promoting products and services on television, radio, print, direct mail, or out of home advertising, potential customers are affected and driven to respond far more substantially than those agencies focusing solely on digital marketing will lead you to believe.

Traditional Media: Dead or Alive

There are major signs of life in Traditional Media that should make you think about how to use it to your advantage, and more importantly, combine it with your New Media initiatives.

There are several misconceptions in the media industry. One is that younger adults are watching less TV. However, data from Nielsen tells a different story. Teens and adults aged 18-34 average roughly 21 hours of viewing time per week (by comparison, the 50+ age group viewing roughly 47 hours per week). While the younger demographic is in fact consuming less TV than other age groups, there are still plenty of opportunities to reach younger viewers.

Radio continues to lead Traditional Media platforms. Most adults aged 35 to 49 (95%) listen to radio weekly. They’re the largest audience segment reachable via this channel. However, 92% of people aged 18 to 34 are in fact exposed to radio ads on a weekly basis (just 77% are reached weekly through television). Therefore, it’s not only older adults listening to the radio these days.

Print, however, may not have the penetration it once did, nor does it possess the widespread reach of television and radio, but many of our clients utilize print effectively and efficiently to reach a 45+ demographic. The Newspaper Penetration Report by Nielsen Scarborough, issued by Pew Research Center, noted a post-recession decline in the newspaper industry, compared to an increase in network, cable, and local TV as well as digital ad revenue. While just 17% of those aged 18 to 34 read one newspaper weekly, 52% of adults over 65 did, proving age is obviously a major factor in the reach of print media; so, while the reach of print publications is not what it once was, we’re also not paying the rates we once did to advertise in print publications. Dollar for dollar, print can still be a practical piece of a media mix and still reaches a very viable demographic.

Whether to stay traditional or go digital depends on the audience you’re trying to reach. It may seem practical to target your efforts in one direction or another, but as we see with the vast majority of our clientele, your ticket to success very well could be the appropriate balance of BOTH traditional and new media!

What Is Traditional Media?

Traditional Media represents a large set of channels/mediums. To go back to basics, it may help us to break down the different types of options to provide a more in-depth comparison.

  • Television: As the media landscape has rapidly evolved, television has become the most widely utilized and recognized medium. The reason—it has adapted by integrating multi-screen technology, the Internet-of-Things, and digitally-enabled technologies and services such as programmatic buying. Broadcast and cable TV networks have also integrated online video, effectively merging traditional and digital forms of media. Neustar found TV has the highest relative efficiency for advertising and driving sales than any other media, across many industries.
  • Radio: People often listen to the radio in the car, while commuting to work or running errands, or if they go out for a stroll. Radio is the original portable marketing channel. It also gives you an opportunity to create memorable ads utilizing a “theater of the mind” approach; which when executed properly, enables the audience to go on an emotional journey with the ad and “connect” in an often direct or intimate way. With a brief, attention-grabbing message, you can capture an audience while they’re on the go and truly establish a relationship with the audience.
  • Print: Newspaper and magazine circulation is growing more rapidly in niche markets. You can target this medium if you know where to look. Go for publications with larger circulation numbers. Although exposure time is short, advertisements in printed media can reach an audience that is already engaged. Publishing your ads in trusted or credible publications can improve performance, especially if your ads appear in online editions as well. Safe to say, exposure is dependent on the level of readership a specific publication receives.
  • Direct Mail: Reaching out to your customers’ mailboxes with flyers and other materials can be a great way to increase brand exposure. Discounts and other incentives don’t have to be substantial. The best direct mail campaigns feature a compelling message that drives consumers to act. You want customers to actively seek out the product or service you are selling, or to visit your store in person. Physical coupons can help improve your ROI from this process.
  • Out-of-Home Advertising: Billboards are visible to automobile drivers and passengers, truck drivers, motorcyclists, and others on the roads. They enable access to consumers in targeted geographical areas, so choosing the right location is critical. Be clever and entertaining; just speak to your customers in their language and to their interests. We recently launched a billboard campaign in the Los Angeles market that received National News Coverage on CNN, MSNBC, ESPN, The Washington Post, Yahoo!, Bleacher Report and more, showcasing the power of what some consider “old media” when leveraged appropriately.

What Is New Media and the Types You Should Consider?

Rather than take the place of Traditional Media, the many forms of New Media have provided additional opportunities to reach out to your audience. They have simply added to the marketing equation. From Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and pay-per-click advertising to content, email, and social media marketing, you have opportunities to target your message and branding strategy. Here is a closer look at a few of them:

  • SEO: Search Engine Optimization, or SEO, is your greatest asset for improving search engine visibility, as potential customers are already interested in your product or service. By researching your competitors, optimizing your page with keywords, using high-authority links, enhancing page speed(s), and testing your calls-to-action, you can significantly increase visitor traffic. Great SEO can drive as much as 90% of your website traffic and 96% of mobile search traffic, regardless of what other tactics you include in your online marketing strategy.
  • PPC: Pay-per-click advertising lets you reach out to customers already looking for your products/services or something similar. You’ll see PPC ads alongside Google search results. The most common type is a paid search ad, often seen when someone looks up “computers near me” or something else they’re shopping for. Ads are triggered by such searches. But PPC advertising includes banner ads and other forms of display advertising. In any form, PPC ads require you pay for each click, so bidding on the most relevant/effective keywords from the start is critical, so you get the best ROI from your ad spending.
  • Content Marketing: A great content marketing strategy can double your website conversion rate. After all, most consumers would rather be informed by articles rather than ads and prefer companies that produce custom content. Effective content includes blog posts, images, videos, infographics, and branding materials. But to be effective, your content must target the appropriate audience, where they look online for answers, and the solutions they need. Content marketing can bring in more leads than any other form of marketing if done right.
  • Social Media Marketing: Social media provides lower-cost marketing opportunities and helps leverage the Internet to accurately target your audience. You can reach even more people through platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. The Cost-Per-Thousand Impressions (CPM) is less than $3. Social media provides an easy way to answer questions, address concerns, and receive feedback while enabling you to provide special offers such as freebies and coupons to manage your relationship with customers.
  • Email Marketing: Another cost-effective digital marketing strategy, email marketing lets you reach out to practically anyone (the market research firm Radicati Group found over 6.69 billion email accounts in 2018). You can inform them of new products and services, updates, special offers, and company events. Email lets you encourage people to subscribe to your newsletter, visit your online store, or even personalize your messages to improve customer engagement. It is also associated with higher conversions, click-through rates, and ROI. Plus, the more personal a subject line is to what a customer has searched for or put in their cart, the more likely they’ll open the email.

Leveraging Traditional and New Media

In navigating the modern media landscape, the line between traditional and digital marketing is quite blurry. It’s now possible to read a newspaper on an iPad, listen to the radio via a computer or phone, and watch television on digital streaming platforms such as Netflix or Hulu. Traditional Media still plays an important role. A two-way conversation isn’t always the best place to start when it comes to shaping a consumer’s impression. Many are not ready to make a purchasing decision. Targeted outbound messages can be useful early in the process, particularly when a customer first enters the sales funnel.

Traditional advertising channels can, therefore, provide an effective introduction to your brand. A more modern approach which helps a customer make a decision and act on it.

Thus, even though the modern media landscape is more segmented than ever, but phasing traditional or “old” media out of consideration altogether is not a wise idea. Billboards can still be extremely effective, as showcased by a LeBron James Lakers recruitment campaign we launched last year in the Los Angeles market, which ended up receiving National Press Coverage on a variety of networks, publications, and websites, as well as live interviews on every broadcast station in L.A.! The client behind the campaign received millions of dollars of media coverage, all thanks to an advertising method many advertisers overlook.

Though more segmented, today’s media landscape provides more opportunities to connect with an audience than ever before. There are numerous decisions to make when formulating your marketing strategy. In determining what channels to deploy (which depends on the individual campaign), consider the following factors:

  • Type of product or service
  • Campaign type
  • Campaign goals
  • Demographic
  • Location
  • Budget
  • Niche markets
  • Desired conversion type

The advantages of both traditional and new forms of marketing can apply at various stages of the sales funnel, so your business can certainly benefit by partnering Traditional Media with New Media. After all, consumers are exposed to multiple forms of media throughout their day, and we are able to leverage data captured via various steps of this journey to build the appropriate brand impression, and ultimately lead the “target” consumer through to conversion.

No, Traditional Media Is Not Dead

Prior to starting a search, 90% of people haven’t formed an impression of a brand. Therefore, you don’t want to limit your opportunities to communicate with them. Publish your newspaper or magazine in digital format, promote or sell your book on social media, and integrate traditional and digital channels into your sales funnel to provide consumers with an all-inclusive experience; all linked and fully integrated with a multi-touchpoint CRM, building trust with each touchpoint. People still watch TV, listen to the radio, and read newspapers, brochures, and billboards. As has been demonstrated in this article, all of these can be blended with New Media channels to maximize your reach, and ultimately, your conversion.

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