Is Traditional Media Dead?

We’ve all read the stories and listened to the guru’s…traditional media is dead (or at the very least, dying).

But is it really?  Has the digital revolution caused irreversible damage?  Are advertisers really wasting their dollars when they place ads on the TV, radio or in a newspaper?

All those traditional mediums are not dead.  While it’s true that many aren’t as strong as they once were, they still occupy a  place in the media landscape.  Most important, consumers still spend lots of their time consuming what these mediums have to offer.

The truth is that none of the “old” mediums have disappeared.  People still read books, magazines and newspapers; they still go to the movies, listen to the radio and watch television.  Evolution does happen and some mediums have a natural affinity for each other.  Before television, the newspaper-radio combination sold a lot of automobiles for local dealers.  Today, with information becoming the product, the Television-Internet combination provides a “1 – 2 punch”.

So which medium is the best for your car or tire dealership?  Radio has sound, and the “theater of the mind.”  Newspapers have tangibility.  TV has visual and audio, and “feeling”.  And the Internet seems to have it all, plus it’s a two-way street, making it by far the most democratic medium to date.  Everyone can be a publisher, performer, or critic.

The Internet has become the showroom.  Powerful and pervasive as it is, it still depends on the outreach mediums to tell people that your store exists – what it is, where it is, and why they should go there.  What, Where, Why – It all sounds very familiar.

Word-of-mouth still ranks as the most powerful advertising.  With all of the customer comments and discussion boards, the Internet can provide this too.  Be advised that customer comments cut both ways.  And unlike face-to-face word-of-mouth that tends to be limited to a few people, negative comments posted on-line can reach hundreds if not thousands of potential customers instantly.

While technology changes at a blinding pace, people haven’t changed all that much.  Since time began, they’ve done what pleases them and what they’re comfortable with.  That doesn’t change overnight.  If you make your selling proposition easy, comfortable, and beneficial, your marketing efforts will continue to generate positive results.

This brings us to the conclusion that it all works. 

Used properly and consistently, virtually every medium will generate some type of response for you.  Newspaper, radio, TV, bus cards, direct mail, skywriting, and the Internet can deliver potential customers to your door (real or virtual).  This is provided that you have something of value.  Regardless of the medium used, you must tell your story in a compelling manner that convinces the consumer you are the superior choice. Your message must be relevant, easy to comprehend, and meaningful.

Numbers can be confusing.  And sellers of ad space love to throw a lot of numbers around.  The bottom line for any advertiser is this; focus on creating a message that is relevant and interesting to the consumer.  A sound message, with real benefits will have a positive impact regardless of where you place your ads.