Paul M. Banas on Consumer Insights, Marketing Research, and the Digital Media Landscape
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The Premature Death Of Traditional Media

Traditional media has been taking it on the chin recently, with newspapers fading into irrelevance and TV effectiveness plummeting.

As this clip from Microsoft shows (hat tip to Joe Pulizzi), traditional media just doesn’t seem to get it:

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Which is why reading “Traditional Media Not Dead Yet For Marketing” in the New York Times was all the more interesting to me.

According to a study of 16 types of media conducted by Yankelovich, in association with Sequent Partners, when consumers were asked what kind of an impression a particular type of ad made, 56 percent of survey respondents said traditional media ads made a positive impression, in contrast to 31 percent who said that about digital media ads.

Additionally, thirteen percent of viewers reported a negative impression of traditional media ads versus 21 percent for digital media ads

The main explanation is that in mediums such as print or TV, people are experiencing advertising when they are relaxing, versus most of the digital advertising they see that occurs when they are actively trying to do something else (searching for something, communicating, etc.).

As J. Walker Smith, president at the Yankelovich Monitor division of Yankelovich in Atlanta, explains:

“When I’m tracking down information or looking for an answer or trying to compare things or searching for a link, ads are irritating to a degree not true when I’m relaxed and unwinding with TV or a magazine and thus more open to diversion.”

However, this generalization makes universal sense only if you assume that the future of digital advertising is pop-up ads.

In reality, the more effective forms of digital advertising are based on engagement and providing something worthwhile for consumers, all in the context of a branded environment.

Whether it is Alternate Reality Games, what You Tube is doing with buzz marketing, or how Nike is building active communities of users, the sophistication and effectiveness of digital marketing is increasing daily.

Traditional media is certainly not dead. It’s still very effective today in exposing a wide range of consumers to a simple, common message.

However, believing that the future of marketing is still the 30 second spot or the full page print ad is a bit like believing vinyl records are the next big thing for the sagging music industry.

1 comment

1 shammara { 07.22.08 at 3:43 pm }

I agree with you, both types of marketing can and is coexisting. But in either strategy, products and the marketing of those products need to be ‘remarkable’ ..as seth godin puts it.

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