As digital marketing technologies have developed significantly, more marketers have prioritised investing into digital channels such as social media and search.
However, recent evidence suggests another shift is taking place – this time, back to traditional channels. In August 2021 and February 2022, marketers predicted that “traditional advertising spending would increase by 1.4% and 2.9%, respectively”, the study suggests.
B2C service companies are predicting the largest increase in traditional advertising spending (+10.2%), followed by B2C product companies (+4.9%). There could be several reasons behind this shift, according to the CMO study:
Breaking through the ‘digital clutter’
A recent HubSpot survey found that over half (57%) of participants disliked ads that played before an online video and almost half (43%) didn’t even watch the ads.
Research from MarketingSherpa, exploring consumers’ channel preferences, suggests that over half of consumers either often or always watch traditional TV advertisements and read print ads that they receive in the mail, from companies they are satisfied or at least familiar with.
The cost of online advertising has also increased, whereas the cost of most ‘traditional’ media has fallen, which could be a game-changer for many businesses. Relative to cost, traditional channels including TV, radio and print often outperform online channels in terms of reach and engagement.
Preparing for the loss of the third-party cookie
Marketers have, for a long time, relied on third-party cookies to track site visitors, improve user experience, and target consumers with personalised ads. But as Google phase out the third-party cookie in the near future, some companies may be looking to more ‘traditional’ alternatives. The survey found that 19.8% of companies invested more in traditional advertising as a direct result of this.
Consumers trust traditional advertising
Another MarketingSherpa survey exploring the channels that consumers trust the most when making purchasing decisions, found that the top 5 trusted channels are all traditional; with 82% of consumers trusting print the most, followed closely by TV with 80%. This research suggests that marketers can use traditional advertising to “build trust”.
The research similarly suggests that listeners are more likely to ‘trust’ podcast advertisements because they also trust their chosen podcast host and are therefore inevitably more likely to be influenced by their endorsements.
More marketers are sceptical of the returns of digital media
The CMO research also revealed that 54.8% of marketers track digital marketing performance in real time, however, more marketers are becoming sceptical of the returns of digital channels, with concerns that digital advertising may be less effective than reported “because the platforms control both the advertising inventory and its effectiveness measurement”.
All Response Media viewpoint
Is traditional media really traditional?
The irony here is that ‘traditional media’ is no longer traditional; more people (+46%) read newspaper brands online than in print, TV and radio are increasingly streamed (although still minority of impacts), sales houses are in a race to develop programmatic advertising platforms, and DPS are in a landgrab for access to ‘traditional’ inventory which is now available to buy programmatically.
New players are also flexing their content muscles, with Amazon and Netflix beginning to serve ads. And they are making moves to own the hardware; Amazon has echo devices in 25% of homes, and Sky Glass TV penetration is set to increase quickly. Bets on Google manufacturing and releasing TV sets soon?
The truth is that traditional media has been in an incredibly slow transition period for years and is now shifting gears. The next 2 years are likely to see more change than the last 10 in media consumption, and media owner power.
So to answer the question of whether advertisers are returning to traditional marketing, I say ‘sort of,’ but it’s not traditional, in the traditional sense of the word…
The latest Touchpoints study is due out at the end of the month is likely to be a cracker…
Director of Planning