If you spend any time at all keeping up with ad industry news, it will come as no surprise that traditional marketing is making a comeback. Maybe not at the budget levels of the past, but the shift is underway.
Why is this happening? Well, believe it or not, people are feeling a bit overwhelmed with digital ads. Forget the fact that your social feeds are filled more with ads than the latest exploits of your sister’s cats, saturation can become a real problem for marketers.
It’s just pretty darn hard to break through the clutter of all those algorithm-enhanced personalized ads. And, according to the Journal of Marketing, all those precious retargeting ads can actually backfire if done too early or frequently. There’s a fine line between driving behavior and driving people nuts.
Putting aside the 800-pound digital gorilla of a cookie-less future for a moment, one of the biggest findings lately has to do with trust. From a marketer standpoint, trust has taken a nosedive given the prevalence of fraud reported across digital channels. The ANA reports that the amount of online fraud could top $100 Billion.
The Ad Contrarian Bob Hoffman suggests continuing to blindly pump money into digital is not a wise strategy. Or as he puts it, “marketing geniuses just keep pouring money down the online toilet.” Of course, not all digital media investments constitute a poor decision, but maybe a little more diligence is in order.
But let’s get back to the consumer. The one’s who can’t understand why they’re getting online ads about Rogain after discussing hair loss with their wives. According to Marketing Sherpa, of the most trusted ad media, digital doesn’t even make the top five. Yes, your grandfather’s media seems to be more trustworthy than Zuckerberg’s. Hmmm, maybe that’s not so surprising.
Ironically, one of the biggest shifts toward traditional marketing is coming from companies that earn 100% of their sales through the internet — predicting an 11.7% increase in traditional advertising spending over the next 12 months. Apparently, they know a hot new trend when they see it. Perhaps they have seen the research from Ebiquity that points out that traditional media channels — led by TV, radio, and print — outperform digital channels in terms of reach, attention, and engagement relative to costs.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not suggesting that brands should move away from digital. As a matter of fact, here at Moroch, we’ve seen tremendous success with digitally focused campaigns. But understanding the strengths and limitations of each medium is critical.
I happen to love storytelling, and traditional channels are a great medium for that, but you can’t just throw a TV spot on TikTok and expect the audience to respond. Respecting and speaking in the voice of the medium will earn trust a lot faster than trying to fake it.