Marketing counsel, courtesy of Lemony Snicket

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“Just because something is traditional is no reason to do it, of course.” That sage advice comes from novelist Daniel Handler, writing under the pen name Lemony Snicket in “The Blank Book.” With insight such as that, Snicket could find work as a media planner instead…

“Just because something is traditional is no reason to do it, of course.”

That sage advice comes from novelist Daniel Handler, writing under the pen name Lemony Snicket in “The Blank Book.” With insight such as that, Snicket could find work as a media planner instead of an author.

The debate on the effectiveness of traditional versus digital media is an ongoing discussion for marketers, but there is no one-size-fits-all answer.

Today, I want to focus on some recent research that supports the use of traditional media options.

Don’t assume that I’m a stuck-in-the mud, old-school traditionalist. If you are a frequent reader, you will remember multiple columns that detail the significant engagement opportunities that come from using multiple digital and social channels.

Turn on the radio

Radio is a challenging medium for advertisers. Ask most copywriters, and they will tell you that writing for radio is one of their more difficult challenges. On the buying side, media planners will tell you that radio’s multiple formats can create havoc.

However, effectiveness is the reward for those who work hard and get radio right, according to a recent Nielsen sales effectiveness study. Consider the following return-on-investment calculations from Nielsen’s Buyer Insights.

The highest return projected was for department stores —$17 in sales for every dollar spent on radio advertising. Mass merchandisers returned $16.37, home improvement retailers saw a $9.48 boost and quick-service restaurants produced $3.01 per radio advertising dollar.

“Reaching 93 percent of all U.S. adults every week and playing a leading role in consumers’ purchasing decisions, radio has the ability to positively impact campaign results,” said Carol Edwards, Nielsen senior vice president for media analytics.

Print delivers consumer savings

Scouring the Sunday paper for savings has become a tradition for millions of Americans. Freestanding inserts (FSIs) were distributed 47 weeks in 2015, according to Kantar Media, giving consumers 286 billion coupons with the potential of saving them $515 billion.

While the number of coupons distributed in 2015 grew by only two-tenths of 1 percent, the face value of the coupon offerings grew by 3.6 percent.

“Trends show that FSI coupons continue to be an important part of the consumer package goods manufacturer’s toolbox,” said Lisa Ekstedt, Kantar Media’s director of customer solutions.

Follow the money to your television station

Watching television’s coverage of the presidential primary season might make you believe that America’s ranking in the world is dropping, but one area where the U.S. leads is consumption of television.

Statista, an online statistics portal, posted a chart last December showing our “leadership.” Americans consume 4 hours and 42 minutes per day. That is one hour more than the United Kingdom or Germany and two hours more than China.

A Forbes Insight study reported that four-fifths of companies consider television advertising mandatory in their media budgets. Only 4 percent were abandoning television. Companies reported using television advertising to increase both brand awareness and sales.

Adding to be debate comparing traditional advertising to digital advertising is one more fact from the Forbes study.

Forbes found that budgets for digital advertising are increasing at a higher percentage than budgets for television. Eighty percent of advertisers reported increases in digital budgets and said they plan to continue increasing investment in digital media alternatives.

See what I mean? Lemony Snicket could make great arguments defending all types of media budgets.

David Bohan founded Bohan Advertising in 1990. He has worked in marketing and advertising since earning a degree at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville in 1970.


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