Whenever you open a marketing magazine or head over to a marketing website these days you’re inevitably greeted by an article about the Internet of Things or Digital Content. Since 44% of UK the £14.7 billion UK media spend in 2013 went on ‘Internet’ (including PPC, display and content) the focus on all things shiny and digital isn’t surprising.
But it’s easy to overlook that therefore 56% of 2013’s media spend wasn’t spent on digital. That’s £4B on TV airtime and sponsorship, nearly £2B across national and regional newspapers, £800M on outdoor, £600M across consumer and B2B magazines, £400M on radio and cinema trailing in last with a spend of £160M.
That’s a heck of a lot of old-fashioned advertising. It might all link up in some kind of glorious multimedia on/offline integrated campaign, but the fact remains that so-called ‘traditional’ media still has a very significant role to play in getting our communications across.
For regional clients in particular, the ability to reach a geographically targeted audience using press, cinema, TV or radio will always be a big draw. You might end up using your TV to drive your target audience online in order to kick-start their customer journey, but for lots of brands you so still need that broad-brush traditional media in the mix.
Also, the rise of event TV such as X-Factor in the classic ‘Saturday Night In’ viewing slot actually seems to be increasing the importance of including TV in the media mix for any big launch. Where would Three’s dancing pony or John Lewis’ Hare & Bear from last year be without a big TV push?
Finally let’s not forget the Digital Inclusion issue – as of March 2014 over 7M people in the UK have never been online and 16M lack basic digital skills (hi Dad!).
I’m not saying that digital is the emperor’s new clothes, merely that the industry sometimes need to remember that in many cases digital has a role as one cog in a campaign’s wheel rather than the be-all-and-end-all of communications solutions.