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Traditional vs. Digital Media: Does one winner take all?

Traditional vs. Digital Media: Does one winner take all?
Author: Michael Mast - President, AloNovus
Written On: May 29, 2015
Category: Marketing Strategy

Many people continue to buy into the notion that traditional media has become the equivalent of the Hawaiian shirt—totally passé. But unlike those bright cotton toppers that have been relegated to a place in fashion history (and the backs of our closets), traditional media never was a fad.

In the same way that the emergence of television didn’t displace the relevance of radio and the DVD player hasn’t downgraded the thrill of seeing an action scene on the big screen, a lot of traditional media is still as attention-getting as it’s ever been.

And it can work with digital media—not in place of it.

It’s not a question of whether a business should choose emerging technology at the expense of traditional approaches. It’s just not that black and white.

What business owners of today have the opportunity to do is to evaluate everything they’ve been doing previously to promote their products, people, and services, and then improve upon that with strategies that include digital media.

For example, if you’re comfortable with print advertising and it’s been working for you, why would you cast that aside? Print media is still an outstanding tool to reach mass markets. People are still reading magazines, and annual print publication launches still outnumber those that are shuttered. What smart business owners are doing is making room for new media as a part of their marketing strategies, not kicking tried and true methods to the curb in favor of the latest trends.

Take tablet magazines as a perfect example. There’s a general consensus regarding the steep decline of tablet magazines, and the Newsstand has become little more than an afterthought for Apple. As more people return to the comfort of the slick pages and vivid imagery of a printed glossy, the idea of reading magazines in digital format is starting to lose momentum. Does that mean tablets are dead? Absolutely not. But, you must seriously consider the audience and application as part of your evaluation.

We don’t get to choose how our audience consumes content, they do. But If you understand your audience you can evaluate all the available channels to reach it—things like print, billboards, radio and TV, as well as website, mobile, social media, and video. The objective remains to create as many touch points as you can, but the key is the combined use of multiple channels within a single, congruent strategy. That’s how you leverage each to see powerful results like you’ve never seen before.

You don’t have to cast aside what you’re comfortable with. But it’s not about holding tight to what isn’t working, either. It is about valuing what you know has historically brought you success and balancing that with new approaches and making them work for you today, and well into the future. 

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