How Do You Decide on Traditional vs. Digital Advertising?

This is a question I get from my clients on a regular basis. On the one hand, digital is all we hear about. Facebook. Google. Bing (yes, even Bing). There’s no buzz for magazine advertising, certainly none for newspapers and only a little for broadcast.

Yet traditional media continues to produce results for my clients. This article touches on magazine advertising and how it is still a “go to” medium, especially for local businesses.

Here’s why.

1 Consumers use traditional advertising – and specifically magazines – for INSPIRATION. They take the time to view ads, photos and articles more completely in printed form. Readers tend to take more time with magazines than they do with other media. And when they see an ad in a magazine, there’s a “wow… I’d like that” reaction, especially when the ad is ANCHORED CONTEXTUALLY with related content.

2You might ask “Who reads magazines anymore”. It’s an understandable question: there’s a definite shift in the consumption of content from print to digital. But the answer is not black and white. It’s not as age-related as it may seem; instead it depends on the kind of content.

And it depends upon what the reader is using the medium for. Newspapers are now more likely to be consumed digitally because of IMMEDIACY. National news magazines like Time or Newsweek are similarly shifting more toward digital consumption. But this trend is not as sharply delineated among local magazines, which provide informative content on a monthly or quarterly basis. These magazines are predominantly SUBSCRIBER based, and as such have more perceived value to the reader. Moreover, local magazines have a significantly longer shelf life, well beyond even the month of publication. Local magazines are thoroughly digested and retained for relatively long periods of time.

3 Digital advertising is much more immediate, and is almost instantaneously discarded. “Gee, I need a new faucet” leads to online research, following by a response – a phone call, a visit to a retail store, or an online purchase – all of which is done very quickly. There’s little “branding”, almost no image building and no longevity to the interaction. Significantly, magazines are used as resources for the readers, providing information about local events, local personalities, local services, and retailers, restaurants, entertainment and more. And magazine advertising provides better branding.

4So how do the two work together? Companies that advertise in traditional media are viewed as TRUSTED RESOURCES, thereby making it more likely that a consumer will respond favorably when viewing a digital message. And if you’re in a highly competitive market, it’s in traditional advertising that your competitors will flourish.

5So… it is my very best recommendation that digital advertising be ADDITIVE to your advertising budget, not a replacement for your traditional media activities. Because in the end, it’s the combination of traditional and digital that will enhance your brand while providing the immediacy that digital can produce.

For more information, or to receive more research, contact Adam Grant at 914-421-1521.

Source: MPA, The Association of Magazine Media