Where do you spend most of your time? Living in the real world or exploring the realms of cyberspace?
The media landscape has changed significantly in the last few years…new digital routes have come on board and are rising in popularity, while traditional routes are on their way out… or are they?
Reading through current marketing press and blog articles you’d be forgiven for thinking that traditional media is rapidly being replaced by its digital counterparts. But the reality is that it’s not… or rather it shouldn’t be. While there is no denying that we spend more time online now than we ever have done before, the truth is that most of us still spend the vast majority of our time in the real world, going through our day-to-day business and consuming all manner of different messages (apparently up to 3,000 per day!) which are being delivered through a variety of different media channels – some obvious, radio, TV, outdoor and some not so obvious: clothing, food wrappers.
Far from dying out, I think it’s fair to say that the role of traditional media is changing. Rather than being the main focus for ‘the sell’, in many instances, traditional media now acts very much as the ‘teaser’ – a signpost – facilitating search activity, directing consumers online to websites or relevant social media, highlighted through the increasingly mainstream usage of QR codes.
So, online vs offline – which route should you choose to promote your brand or product? If this is the question you’re asking yourself, then in my opinion, you’re asking the wrong question. It shouldn’t be a question of either/or – it should be all about the mix – the optimum mix that will enable you to reach your target audience efficiently and effectively as they go about their day-to-day lives.
How do you achieve the optimum mix? Unfortunately there’s no easy or quick solution to this. Just go back to good old ‘marketing basics’: define your objectives and get to know your target audience (and I don’t just mean do a research focus group to find out what media they consume) really get to know them, who they are, what they feel, how they act in different situations, how and what they use to interact…
Start the process with an open mind and don’t be afraid to change tack if something isn’t working as well as it should. The beauty of the online/offline integrated media relationship is that everything is trackable. So constantly evaluate your activity and make adjustments big or small to make sure your message reaches your audience at a time and in a place where they will be most receptive to it.