Bridging the Traditional-Digital Advertising Divide

traditional marketing divide

Media consumption habits have changed dramatically over the past five years, and advertising campaigns are evolving to keep pace. Today, ad dollars are being reallocated from offline channels like TV, print, and radio to digital and programmatic ad buying. However, many brands are uncertain of the reallocation of tried-and-true methods for their media plans to digital.

TV is expected to still account for more than one-third (34.7%) of global media consumption by 2017, though time spent watching broadcast programs on TV sets is expected to decline by 1.7% per year. By contrast, time spent accessing the internet is predicted to grow by 9.4% per year between 2014 and 2017.


TV commercials, even with DVR skipping and declining viewership, still delivers the strongest reach and awareness.  As a marketer in a field where television still is the dominant platform (but not for long), it is easy to understand the reluctance to experiment with new campaign and marketing elements through digital. The shift in media consumption has completely changed how advertisers are measuring content and response effectiveness and the transition is already taking place with brand advertisers.

From a response perspective, banners, pre-roll, homepage takeovers, and cross-device targeting are also effective measurable marketing tactics. Marketers know that first-party data can be used to target users right when they are in-market to convert. As a result, marketers have to balance the campaign metrics between brand reach, frequency, awareness, and response. Therefore, it is important to lay out the facts of how digital can impact attributable campaign performance with complimentary value to TV's brand awareness reach.

It is crucial to explain why measuring campaigns in terms of click-through rates and cost-per-aquisition brings value that complement TV reach and frequency. A marketer should understand that if people are clicking on your ad, that means they are interested in it—but they need to go further than that to understand why they need to shift their focus away from traditional campaign metrics and recognize that digital can be integrated in a marketing strategy and support campaign objectives and effectiveness.

Tracking the Customer Journey

Although digital campaigns have stronger attribution because of the ability to track consumer journeys from awareness to conversion, especially for ecommerce, its effectiveness should be integrated with TV awareness, not separated. For drive-to-retail, this can be a bit trickier, but development and adoption of beacon technology is bridging that gap as well. And since digital campaigns target users as they are in-market, you don’t need to blast out a message repeatedly to target consumers who already have brand awareness.

When it comes to digital, balance quality and quantity. Making sure that marketers and their respective agencies fully understand the challenges, solutions and effective measurement of integrating digital and TV is extremely crucial, as is the complimentary value each has towards a campaign's success. There are very different ways to measure campaign metrics and embracing the new vernacular of each is the first step.

Thinking beyond the numbers and reimagining what success factors drive positive ROI is key. If our media consumption has been reassessed and reworked by the dawn of digital, then the way we view success and the divide between traditional media platforms and digital needs a transformation as well.

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