04/19/09

Television and radio are not dead yet

I just read a short article entitled “Agencies Need to Think More Facebook, Twitter, Less TV.”
While my methodical, logical tendency is tugging at me to study the comparison between social marketing and traditional broadcast, then present a studied article with all kinds of facts and figures, I’m caving to impulse. Going with my gut, supported by my personal experience with what I see happening today.
Our agency has been ramping up our social media knowledge and skills as quickly as possible because we recognize its profound importance as time goes on. In the process, I’ve noticed a continuing increase of information and opinions on social media, to the point where it appears that some consider traditional media dead and buried. I suppose this is a natural phenomenon when something as new and ground-breaking as social media is discovered. We get caught up in the frenzy, and bail from our old ways like rats jumping off a sinking ship.
Except, the ship isn’t sinking.
True, traditional media is becoming more fractured. But, just because the days of three primary networks, and a handful of local radio stations are gone doesn’t mean the medium has lost its usefulness. Case in point. We have been running a television campaign for a chain of restaurants in the Sacramento California area. Since we started in June 2008, they have been up in sales every single month. And, up significantly, anywhere from 20% to 30%. And, this is in a recession! And, this isn’t the only success story we’ve seen using traditional media.
What this shows is that it isn’t just the media. It’s finding the right message, then finding your audience. Sometimes the audience can be found on TV, sometimes on radio, sometimes in an industry magazine. If anything, it has made ad agencies more valuable than ever, because they are equipped to find the right mix of places where a client’s audience hangs out.
Social marketing should be a growing part of the mix, no doubt. And for some, social marketing will be all that is needed, or can be afforded. But, the real marketing answer is in looking at the entire landscape of options and mixing them most efficiently to achieve the client’s goals.