Agency Exec: Advertising Using Traditional Media Offers ‘Unique Strengths.’


For all the arguments made for digital media – its targeting capabilities, tracking opportunities, and perhaps most notably its estimated 67% share of media spend in 2021, according to eMarketer – traditional media such as radio remain crucial to an integrated ad campaign. That's the view of Andy Ehlen, Senior Media Planner/Buyer at marketing agency Grady Britton, in a MediaPost opinion piece.


“While digital media is a critical component of paid campaign strategies, traditional media tactics still have unique strengths,” Ehlen says in the column titled “5 Reasons to Keep Traditional Media In The Mix.” “Depending on location, demographics and other key qualifiers, there can be an argument made to focus on one over the other. Integrating both digital and traditional together can expand reach and engagement, while also increasing impact.”


One of those five reasons is the importance of endorsement opportunities offered by traditional media, particularly radio. “By leveraging endorsements with 'original influencers,' from DJs to on-air broadcast personalities, messaging is delivered by people whom audiences already trust, allowing paid content to come across naturally,” Ehlen says. “Endorsements promote credibility, particularly for campaigns meant for diverse audiences.”


Radio also plays a key role when it comes to content alignment, another advantage of traditional media Ehlen champions. “Traditional broadcast and print media offer more content alignment opportunities, allowing the message to complement what audiences are already seeing,” he says. “Negotiating fixed positions adjacent to this content through sponsorships and specific placement can help brands avoid getting lost in the clutter.”


Ehlen also argues for the added value, as well as the increased real estate, offered by traditional media. “Traditional offers far more opportunity for added value than digital,” he says. “No-charge bonus media schedules and promotions extend a campaign in-market beyond paid schedules, providing additional media weight at no additional cost. Experienced buyers can exceed the 3%-5% industry standard in added value, typically negotiating a 20%+ return, far outweighing digital.”


Additionally, Ehlen notes, “Smart traditional media placements can complement your digital campaign, in many cases offering additional real estate for comprehensive storytelling. This is particularly good for brand campaigns.”


Traditional media can also provide important internal alignment, Ehlen says. “Clients and their internal teams may not always be the target audience for a digital campaign, therefore not ever seeing it. By using smartly placed traditional awareness tactics that will be seen by internal teams, the campaign will gain support internally and encourage investment in the initiative.”

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