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Is It Time to Reconsider Traditional Advertising?

Posted November 30th, 2022 in Articles

Over the past decade, there has been a documented shift from traditional advertising media to digital advertising—with an increasing emphasis on social media. As was widely reported following Elon Musk’s takeover of Twitter, 50 of the social media company’s top advertisers promptly left the platform, taking more than $750 million in annual spending along with them.

Traditional Advertising Continues to Drive Engagement

But, concerns about Twitter’s direction are not the only factor at play. Overall, we are seeing a gradual shift (or at least a partial shift) back toward traditional media. As the Harvard Business Review (HBR) reported earlier this year:

“[M]ore than half of consumers often or always watch traditional television advertisements and read print advertisements that they receive in the mail from companies they are satisfied with. Indeed, research . . . suggests that traditional media channels — led by TV, radio, and print — outperform digital channels in terms of reach, attention, and engagement relative to costs.”

Does this mean that your company should be devoting more of its advertising dollars to traditional media and deprioritizing social media and other online platforms?

The Merits of Traditional Advertising Vary Across Industries and Companies

As with most strategic questions, the answer is, “It depends.”

Some industries, companies, brands, products and services are more well-suited to traditional advertising than others. The same, of course, holds true for digital advertising as well. While it may be true that traditional media channels outperform digital channels from an overall statistical perspective, this undoubtedly isn’t true across the board.

If digital advertising didn’t work, it wouldn’t exist. Social media platforms wouldn’t be inundated with company profiles and sponsored posts, and Google wouldn’t generate more than $100 billion per year in advertising revenue. Just like traditional advertising, when it comes to digital advertising, the proof is in the pudding. But, could companies that are currently prioritizing digital channels perform better with a bifurcated or hybrid approach?

The answer varies case by case. Television and radio commercials will be most effective for companies that have a target audience that tunes in. If your customers don’t watch TV, then advertising on TV doesn’t make sense. Likewise, mailers sent to potential customers’ mailboxes will generally be most effective when targeting homeowners and renters who have a specific need for the company’s goods or services. If your company’s customer base searches or shops online, then continuing to prioritize digital channels may still be the way to go. Of course, determining which digital channels to target requires market research as well.

The HBR article notes that a hybrid approach may be effective for many companies as well. For example, getting homeowners’ attention with a print advertisement that has a QR code they can use to visit the company’s website while walking from the mailbox may offer the best of both worlds.

Speak with an Advertising Consultant at Mithras Investments

Do you have questions about how your company can maximize the return on investment (ROI) from its advertising budget? If so, we invite you to get in touch. To speak with a consultant at Mithras Investments, please call 305-517-7911 or contact us online today.

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