Selecting the right media mix is on every marketer’s mind. Finding the right balance between traditional and digital in your campaign strategy is the key.
While digital is the trendier sister to traditional forms of marketing, there is still a place for traditional. Over the last decade, choices have become much more complicated. Now, many different traditional and digital media options compete for your advertising dollars.
Connected TV and Over-The-Top
In 2020, 80 percent of homes with a television – about 96 million Americans – had at least one connected TV. That’s up from 57 percent in 2015 and 24 percent in 2010. For the first time ever, Americans spent more than an hour with digital TV content every day in 2020, an increase of 23 percent since 2019. Digital TV ad spend increased during the pandemic, and OTT ad spend broke $1 billion in 2021.
Over-the-top (OTT) content goes “over” your cable box with TV content. OTT platforms deliver content using an internet connection as opposed to a cable or broadcast provider.
Connected TV (CTV) is digital content accessed by apps and streamed over smart TVs, mobile, or devices via an internet connection.
OTT doesn't describe the device on which you’re watching. It means you could be watching OTT content on a connected TV, but also on your laptop or tablet. Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, Peacock and Apple TV+ are all examples of OTT providers.
OTT and CTV are sometimes used interchangeably. It is helpful to think of OTT as the method ‘or channel’ for delivering video content and CTV is a device on which you’re watching that content. Both CTV and OTT ads generally appear before, during, or after the content the viewer is watching. Advertisers can target audiences in many ways depending on their platform of choice, access to data, and campaign strategy.
More than subscription services
Consumers adopted ad-supported offerings such as NBCUniversal’s Peacock and HBO Max with ads during the pandemic in huge numbers. They are gaining traction among households that want access to streaming content without adding more costly subscription services. According to Nielsen, streaming represents 26 percent of all TV viewing, with Netflix accounting for 6 percent. This trend doesn’t appear to be slowing down as we move into 2023. It’s estimated that CTV ad spend will increase by 32% this year alone.
Broadcast radio and music streaming
The music industry is trending in the same direction as the TV industry. More and more listeners are investing more in streaming platforms and pulling back on broadcast radio. The music industry has endured its share of crises in the digital era, from the slow death of the CD to the rise of online piracy. Now, radio broadcasters face a worrying exodus among young listeners to streaming platforms and a slower, but definite shift for older generations.
Spotify, Pandora, iHeart Streaming are all examples of the emerging growth in streaming radio. Spotify recently invested millions in podcasting. It expects that 20 percent of listening on its service will eventually be non-music content. It currently has 207 million monthly active users. Our friends at iHeart recently told us that streaming and podcast listening has more than doubled since the start of Covid. Podcasts, now dubbed as "radio’s reinvention," have changed the way people consume media.
As with digital TV, more and more advertisers are incorporating streaming radio and Podcasting in their campaign strategy because of the options for targeting by audience, category, psychographics, and city/state or DMA.
One of the key differences between podcast/streaming and broadcast radio is that you can actually see how many people have downloaded the podcast or have a subscription to the streaming service/station. Podcasts appeal to a more niche audience, due to their focus on tailored, individual topics and users are often in more urban areas. This can be true for streaming radio as well. There are streaming radio stations devoted to single artists, for example, Pitbull's Globalization channel on SiriusXM.
Because the audience is more engaged, the advertiser is likely to connect with the targeted individual. Broadcast radio is generally consumed during less-engaged times, and is a medium of mass communication and less-focused topics. However, broadcast radio tends to attract a loyal audience with DJ favorites, and in more rural areas of the country.
Don't count radio out
Despite the ample threats, traditional radio isn't dead, and there is a place for it in your media mix. Radio is a reach medium with universal appeal, targeting a mass audience. Listeners have a strong emotional connection with their chosen broadcast station & DJ, which reflects positively on radio advertising.
Radio reaches consumers closest to their time of purchase, as they drive to and from work, or even during a lunch break. Radio advertising has inherent persuasive strengths which build trust, purchase intent, and personal cues. Live reads and remote location broadcasts (at your favorite restaurant or a grand opening) can drive in consumers. The summer months are a particularly a good time to advertise on this medium. People are generally out and about, not watching TV, and commuting in their cars more.
How to Make Digital & Traditional Marketing Work Together
How to make digital and traditional work together in your campaign strategy
In the ever-changing world of media, good marketers spread their efforts across a multitude of baskets. Both digital marketing and broadcast marketing have unique strengths that make them powerful tools on their own. Combining them can strengthen your marketing message and enable your campaigns to reach people they normally wouldn't. However, the key to successfully incorporating these campaign strategies is to know how they work together.
Digital marketing consists of purely digital advertising and content, including ads, webpages, videos, and more on websites, social media platforms, and streaming channels. Digital specializes in targeting specific audiences at low costs and drives action by encouraging people to sign up to email lists or make online purchases. Meanwhile, broadcast or traditional TV advertising is best used to educate audiences and build brand awareness.
Whether you look for the best streaming solutions or broadcasting services, use consistent messaging across all platforms to help lift your campaign's overall success. Both play an important role in a marketing strategy and are each elevated when used in unison.