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5 things “New Media” can learn from “Old Media”

2009 August 13

TV is dead.  Print is dead.  Radio is dead.  Outdoor is dead.

However, somehow the majority of ad budgets go to those four media.  Moreover, they’ve been around for 70 years or more and client’s processes have been built up around them.  While Digital Media is the future and (increasingly) the present, there is still a lot that “New Media” can learn from “Old Media.”  Here are five examples:  

1. Trading Metrics vs. Performance Metrics: In “Old Media” GRP (Gross Rating Points) is the standard for trading.  However, nobody really thinks that GRP planning is effective because it values frequency (how many times you reach people) equal to coverage (how many you reach), which they clearly are not .

As we all know, it can be difficult to meet new people but your mother can call you 50 times a day.  The value of advertising is in reaching people and a lot of money can be wasted if you spend too much on too few.  Therefore, advertisers negotiate rates on GRP and rate performance on another, internal metric (usually cost per coverage in a narrower target than they declare).

This is still valid in “New Media.”  There’s too much emphasis on how you pay and not enough on how campaigns are delivering on goals.

2. Media Multiplier: Media complement each other and there are synergistic effects.  A light TV campaign with support from Radio, Press and Outdoor will outperform a heavy TV campaign for the same budget.  That doesn’t change.  CTR’s (click-thru-rates), and Cost per Acquisition can vary widely according to other media activity (online and offline) and general brand awareness.

3. Client service: Why do so many “New Media“ people seem to revel in telling client’s about the “Great Digital Threat” and pointing out that their way of doing things is over?  The role of a good salesperson should be to make the prospect feel more comfortable with what she is buying, not less so.

4. Engagement: It’s not all about clicks or immediate response, especially in categories with long product cycles.  While digital media has been hyped as the “super-accountable media” in the past, social media is bringing this issue to the fore.  While clients, Print and Event people DO understand the value of engagement, it seems that “New Media” people are going to have to switch paradigms somewhat.

5.  Integration: Ad Agencies used to be full service.  People learned how to work together for 30 years or so until the rise of specialist agencies forced a segmentation of the marketing world.  While the agency world seems to have reversed the trend (there are now full service subsidiaries of specialist agencies) most “New Media” people seem to want to specialize as much as possible.  It’s still early days, we lack standards and nobody really truly understands what’s going on.  Integration will be a key success factor for at least the next decade or so.

I’m sure a lot of people have opinions on this.  Please let me know about them.

– Greg

Update:  See also How Skyrock made Social Media Profitable on the Maverick Marketing Blog

52 Responses leave one →
  1. January 4, 2010


    Thanks. How did you know my Russian name?

    – Grzes

  2. January 4, 2010

    Open-end συλλογισμός:

    Most Grigori(s) are ‘Grisha’ in Russian/(Eastern)Ukrainian.
    Most American Greg(s) could be Grigori(s).
    Nostalgic American Greg lives now in the Ukraine.

    And this is more like a haiku than proper deductive reasoning:

    the orange light of spring makes Kraina look gooden
    a Sandpiper smiles before migrating
    behind the mask of ‘proffessor’ Янукович we feel the grin of Putin

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