Perfect Partners – How traditional and digital media work better together

In 2017 ad spend is predicted to rise by 4.5% globally. Growth always offers great opportunities, and with a huge range of new media available, companies are predicted to pour an increasing amount of their higher spend into digital formats.

Digital media is becoming the leading media format, however traditional media still has a significant role to play. It’s not an all or nothing proposition, so with this in mind we explore how important traditional media still is and how powerful it can be when partnered with digital media.

Traditional media still matters

Despite the continued growth in digital, traditional media still makes up the bulk of spend, and Jonathan Barnard, Head of Forecasting at Zenith Optimedia, has advice for media companies on how to adapt following the company’s forecast for 2017.

Barnard says, “The report highlights the necessity for media owners to embrace the internet, which is relentlessly distracting attention from traditional media.” However, he also stressed that media companies and advertisers shouldn’t “over-react” to the rise of digital.

After all, as Barnard noted: “Traditional media still accounts for three quarters of media consumption.”
In fact, in some cases, viewing of traditional media is expected to increase. For example, exposure to outdoor advertising increased by 0.6% between 2014 and 2017.

To ensure that you see the opportunities in traditional media, there are two important things to emphasise in your strategies:


One area where traditional media unquestionably trumps digital media is in consumer trust.
According to a study by Nielsen, TV, newspaper, magazine, billboard and radio ads were more trusted than search, display, social media, banner and SMS ads.

While factors such as targeting and reach are undoubtedly vital to your business, what also matters is that your brand is trusted by the consumer. Two thirds of people will not buy from brands they don’t trust, while 68% would recommend a trusted brand to others.

Not only does trust matter to consumers, it matters to your business too. In fact consumer trust was second only to top line growth in a top-of-mind survey of consumer goods executives.

Working together with digital

In the conversation between the advantages and disadvantages of both digital and traditional media campaigns, it’s easy to forget that quite often these channels are even more effective when they work together.

The UK John Lewis Christmas advertising campaigns are highly anticipated and have come to be recognised as signalling the start of the festive season, with hundreds of thousands of consumers viewing the adverts online before the TV advert has even aired. To date last year’s advert has been viewed 37M times and has been shared all over the world on platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Embracing digital has allowed them to amplify their traditional marketing plans by achieving a controlled balance between the two different media. John Lewis are now leading the way in new media formats and are the first company to trial Facebook 360 degree collection ads , where customers can view goods from any angle.

Eva Bojtos, John Lewis’s senior manager for social marketing, said: “Facebook is such an important platform to reach customers and as Facebook’s research has found 51% of people say they’re excited that Virtual Reality will play a part of their shopping experiences in the future.

Getting the balance right

When it comes to digital it shouldn’t be a standalone proposition. Whether you are looking to build consumer trust by using the media that people respect the most, or whether you want a super-effective way to enhance your digital campaigns, you can be assured that traditional media should be part of your strategy now and in the future. Ensure you get the balance right and you will achieve a plan which is greater than the sum of its parts.

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