It’s a debate that we hear more and more often in the world of advertising. Why would you advertise in any other platform other than digital?

For a highly trained marketer or advertising professional, it’s easy to understand why off-line media still plays an integral role in outbound comms for any brand. However, others see digital as the holy grail – but it’s not. Omni channel planning and implementation are more relevant now than ever before.

Whilst there’s obviously a myriad of upsides to digital advertising, there are also downsides to be considered. I’ve always been a firm believer that to be a great marketer, you need to be an even better consumer. There’s simply no better insight than walking in the shoes of your consumer to uncover those little pots of gold that allow you to stand out from the crowd or improve the quality of your product or service.

And whilst this is true for the most part, it still doesn’t go anywhere near close as to why you should choose one medium over another when it comes to outbound communications.

In channel planning, we talk a lot about what medium an audience consumes the most. Platforms such as Roy Morgan, Emma, Nielsen etc. And for the most part, it always points to digital no matter what audience you are targeting. This is simply due to the highly dependent nature of the internet in our day to day lives, no matter our age or status.

Further to that, and diving deeper into digital as a channel, it will mostly likely always point to Google and Facebook with daylight second. It’s just how the numbers stack up and shows the dominance of those players in the market place when it comes to market penetration and influence.

BUT that’s not to say that all other channels but digital are dead or other platforms outside of Facebook or Google aren’t worth advertising on.

“Digital dependency” has gone too far amongst marketers and the art of media strategy and planning is being lost. Younger generations coming through media agencies and marketing teams are losing vital communications planning experience and these skills are not being taught through university or handed down by those in higher roles. It’s an art and a skill that is being lost to time. And some brands taking media “in house” can make uneducated decisions because of this very reason.

Yes, anyone can buy an ad on Facebook or Google or even TV or Radio for that matter, but not everyone is skilled in how to plan, execute, and optimize a well thought out multi-channel marketing campaign or strategy consisting of both on and off-line media as well as above and below the line campaign efforts working in unison. And is what we are doing aligned to the business strategy and objectives. Is there a business case attached to the advertising strategy.

The role of a media channel is so important. It’s not only about data, or traffic. It’s about how that medium makes the consumer feel, how the consumer engages with a brand, what that particular media is supposed to do at that time, in that moment. It’s  how that interaction with a brand makes the consumer feel. And how the consumer is feeling at the time of that interaction. Where are they, what are they doing, what are they thinking, how are they feeling. Are they tired, happy, sad, hungry, busy, content. The list goes on. All of sudden, media planning starts to sound pretty complicated. Consumers are complicated beings, and they are all different so it all make sense.

Then it’s what do we want that particular medium to do for us. Have we accounted for that fact. Is our messaging on point. Are we talking to our consumer at the right time. In the correct manner. All of these things must come into the planning of media.

In our next post, we’ll use some examples of how different brands might use their media for different things and take these principals into account.

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