Is traditional media becoming the new “new media”?

by Tony Fannin, president, BE Branded

This is an interesting question. We all know of the stampede to everything online. No one wants to be left out. Marketers are joining EVERYTHING just in case one of them takes off. It’s kind of like the way some people place bets in Vegas. Because of this rush to online, special apps, and social media, it’s becoming a very crowded space with some good stuff, but a lot more of crappy stuff. Online and social media is still in it’s developmental stage. This leads to two deductions. One, it’s an environment of experimentation and excitement. There are many cool things to be discovered and utilized. Two, because of the “wild-west” nature, there’s no real discipline or set of core principles that has emerged yet. With all of this flood to new media, some think traditional marketing is on it’s way out. The strange thing is that mediums such as magazines and radio have begun to reinvent themselves to the point I believe they may be the new “new media”.

Here’s why I think this. When I consider buying spots on radio, I’m able to get creative and strategic with how I buy. For example, instead of buying 100 spots on various stations at scattered times, I’m able to work with the stations to “own” the drive-time hour by being the only advertiser during that hour. This gives me a significantly more effectiveness than scattering my radio buy. I’m also able to have my client be liked by the listening audience because the number of spots they listen to during that hour is reduced significantly. Because my client “owns” the hour, we only need 5 or 6 spots to air during the hour with DJ mentions. Compare that to 20-30 spots per hour.

The same concept goes for magazines. I’m able to dominate the pages by “owning” an issue through special inserts, fewer advertisers, creative, integrated promotions, etc. By reducing the number of advertisers in an issue through special arrangement with the publication, my client is able to easily stand out while readers are flipping through the mag. Also, by aligning product benefits with the editorial subject of the main feature articles, my ads are even more relevant.

One of the core principles of advertising is for your brand to own the media space you’re in. Creatively using media vehicles accomplishes this. Traditional media outlets such as TV, radio, print, are more open than ever to work with marketers in developing creative applications to their media vehicle. They have to be. It’s up to the advertisers to take advantage of that and present their companies in a more creative and unique way. Online is becoming bland and a too much of a “me too” approach. Too many web sites look the same. Too many banner ads look and act the same. Too much social media is very surface and not much depth.

New media is still in the process of defining itself and its true role in marketing. All the while, traditional media is becoming inventive and allowing new and creative uses to the medium. This allows a brand to be fresh and unique in how they present their messages and connect with their customers. And this creates online buzz, both online and off. (see: Does advertising help buzz?) The saying still is true, “what’s old is new.”


About Be Branded

Tony Fannin is of President of BE Branded, an integrated marketing firm who helps clients BE Somebody to their customers. If you aren't somebody, then you are commodity.

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