What is better: traditional advertising or digital advertising? Is radio worth using to advertise?

by | Business Growth, How can we help, Marketing

Hands up if you think traditional methods of advertising has had its day?

There’s a lot of digital marketers and business owners who will tell you the only way to go are digital and that traditional advertising platforms like newspaper, television, radio and outdoor advertising are a thing of the past. You’ll hear arguments about diminishing return on investment, lack of reach and the high cost of getting the frequency you need to target the consumer.

The rise of digital marketing has put the spotlight on the modern era ineffectiveness of some forms of traditional advertising, but the problem is more about traditional media’s inability to innovate and change to meet the demands of the modern-day consumer.

Some newspaper owners made the switch to online, but even today, we’re still seeing an inability to move past the subscriber model which will eventually sound the death knell for the medium. Free to air television has had to compete with a growing pay for view and subscriber offers without advertising. Not only that, with the availability of PVR’s we’re recording our fave programs and watching them back later, minus the ads.

Radio, in the past, considered a poor relation to newspaper and television, is revelling in a resurgence of popularity. The Buggles may have sung about video killing the radio star back in the ’80s but that didn’t happen. MTV had challenges of its own. Instead, radio has grown stronger, even against the popularity of free and subscriber music platforms like Spotify.

Who listens to the radio?

95% of consumers still listen to radio each week and 85% if people listen in the car and with those figures, radio is doing something right. Like new digital platforms, radio is constantly evolving offering up the listener, what they want, when they want it. The strength of radio is the relationship it builds with its listeners. Consumers trust their local radio station to provide them with the news, information and music relevant to them. Radio builds trust. Not only is it the original influencer it is the fastest and biggest referral network – “word of mouth” promotion.

Before social media, consumers would tune in to hear what had been happening in the life of their favourite on-air personality.

Radio works best for brand awareness

Radio is great for branding because it gives businesses cost effect reach and frequency (getting more consumers to hear your message more often at a cheaper price) and digital advertising is great for a shorter call to action campaigns. Plan your campaigns to include both and you’ll save money on both media.

So Digital marketing is a growing and very relevant means of marketing to the consumer, but as it is constantly evolving, you can find that if you don’t keep up, what you were doing yesterday is not going to be the best way to do it today.

It’s estimated that there are over 19 million mobile phones in Australia and over 2 billion worldwide.

Everyone, even our children, is ditching the pens and paper and using laptops and other mobile devices to learn, to communicate and to make money. We are spending hours, days and over our lifetime, years, in front of screens, so targeting consumers with digital advertising using the platforms available to us seems to make the most sense.

So what is better? Traditional advertising or digital advertising?

There’s no right answer to this question. The better question is how do I get my product or service in front of the consumer cost-effectively? To do that you need to look at how your chosen advertising platform works, understand the needs of the consumer and the decision making process and the consumer buying cycle and how it works.

If you consider all these factors, you will probably realise that using a combination of both radio and digital will give you the best result for your business.

Radio and Digital media both are;

  • very cost-effective mediums
  • Effective for reach and frequency
  • get in front of your customers where they live, work and play.
  • mobile
  • connect in a personal way to your potential customers
  • Able to move the consumer to action with the right message

If you want results from your advertising you need to play the long game and get the message right. Radio and digital mediums are just the platform for spreading the word. The word is what is important. If it doesn’t resonate with your customers, no matter how much advertising you do, it’s not going to get you the desired result.

Digital marketing definitely needs to be part of your advertising mix, but radio is the companion media that is the original social media.

It’s still developing and conspiring with your listeners and if it stays on that trajectory we’ll see strong growth for years to come.

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