Merging Of Traditional and Digital Media Campaigns

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March 20, 2012
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March 27, 2012

Merging Of Traditional and Digital Media Campaigns

Merging digital and traditional radio advertising continues to be a challenge for media placement agencies. Digital has been trending over the past decade to replace print dollars and act as a complement to a base TV or Radio media plan. Obstacles such as client resistance to incorporate digital elements into a media campaign or even the challenge of ‘fitting’ digital spending into a ‘spot radio’ plan are all road blocks media planners must overcome. Since digital has been gaining popularity software companies such as Strata have risen to the challenge of providing media agencies with programs specifically created for digital standards. The creation of digital standards on an industry-wide platform has been on the agenda for both stations and agencies. How space is sold differs greatly from spot radio. Over the past decade both agencies and station reps have struggled to bridge gaps and educate themselves on these industry terms, differences and standards.

STRATA recently released findings in a study revealing that traditional advertising still fails to complement digital effectively. STRATA found that although digital is playing a larger role, the category still faces substantial obstacles in aligning cohesively with campaign goals.  Despite some years of experience with digital, clients still do not fully comprehend the value of this form of media. Although STRATA has successfully given agencies and advertisers the software template to translate spot costs impressions and clicks, media buyers are still challenged in negotiating the often uncharted digital territory and translating how a ‘spot’ radio campaign can be complemented by digital spending.

As indicated in part one of STRATA’s quarterly survey, all forms of media made a solid comeback during the first quarter 2012, which represented a positive return for advertising.  However, the digital category while strong overall, did stumble.  Survey respondents indicated that digital’s two leading obstacles are a lack of advertiser demand and channel effectiveness.  Channel effectiveness appears to be blocked largely due to insufficient digital measurement (51%), followed by merging digital and traditional advertising in the managerial process.

The STRATA survey highlighted the fact that agencies are still in desperate need of tools to effectively measure digital advertising.  More than half (51%) noted that current digital measurement platforms fall short of meeting campaign needs, with 59% illustrating that their clients didn’t even truly understand the value of digital advertising. Furthering the argument that digital struggled this quarter, 93% of respondents noted that clients are not actively requesting new advertising venues such as the iAd, Google TV and Apple TV.

“Advertising is back on track, but merging digital and traditional media is still a major issue,” said John Shelton, STRATA CEO/President. “Agencies are being actively challenged by clients to provide true ROI figures, but they don’t have the tools to fully report digital and traditional advertising results together.  Agencies are also struggling with selling certain digital advertising to clients, as most are currently unimpressed with the reach of such new avenues as location based advertising, iAd and Google TV.”

STRATA recently launched a new digital measurement tool called AMBIT in response to these growing trends and ROI demands. The platform provides agencies with the ability to measure the impact of all of their advertising buys and provide a true comparison of digital versus traditional ad purchases. AMBIT provides an unlimited number of metrics that can identify such specific campaign parameters as online registrations, retail foot traffic and sales lift.

2012 will prove to be an interesting evolution between traditional and digital media plans. There are full service agencies handling all facets of these campaigns and agencies solely focused on digital alone. As iPads, mobile devices and smart phones continue to gain popularity, digital spending has to follow suit. Clients will need to be more integrated in thought and agencies will need to strive to keep updated on the plethora of digital elements that best highlight their clients’ requests.

Tami Freeman is the Media Director of The Radio Agency. Please follow The Radio Agency’s Blog “Sounding Board” by subscribing to the email or RSS links above.Visit our website