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“Print is dead!” “No one reads magazines anymore!” “Digital media is more popular than ever!”

Every couple of years, statements like these make their way into the headlines, and there’s a reason for it. In our rapid-fire world where speed is a top priority, digital media marketing checks all of the boxes – it’s fast, it’s powerful, it’s multifaceted and it’s versatile. Forrester Research projects that digital marketing spend will reach $120 billion by 2021, with social media, paid search, online video and email marketing making up 46 percent of all advertising. Digital retail marketing has reach, yes, but where would it be without more traditional platforms, like television, print and radio? Think about it: traditional media has been widely consumed for decades and that longevity has value. It’s a time-tested platform that is a go-to for many demographics and, for that reason, traditional media is a must for any retail marketing strategy.

Watching Television is the Single Biggest Media Activity

First and foremost, traditional media incorporates television and the U.S. is the biggest television market in the world! Americans watch an average of 2.58 hours of television a day and this number continues to rise year after year. While some choose to watch television shows online, the majority of viewers are watching television on a TV set, especially those ages 45-54 and 55-64. When it comes to television, baby boomers are traditionalists and they’re not breaking that habit any time soon. Moreover, this statistic hints at television’s ability to reach an audience that extends beyond millennials and Generation Z viewers. This wide distribution is probably why television advertising revenue is expected to reach $75.2 billion by 2021. But television provides more than monetary value, it also creates a distinct wow factor that enhances brand recognition, which, in the long-run, will only drive more response for your brand’s goods and services.

AM/FM Radio Reaches 93 Percent of U.S. Adults

Television is certainly one of the most popular forms of traditional media, with an average viewership of 89 percent, but it just can’t top radio’s ability to reach 93 percent of the U.S. population. Approximately 271 million Americans listen to the radio each week and this total number spans people of all age groups and ethnicities. While television seems to have the at-home media market cornered, radio is primarily accessed when users leave the house. In fact, over two-thirds of listening happens when people are at work or close to a point of purchase. Nielson research finds that people who work full-time jobs listen to the radio 2.5 hours longer per week than listeners who do not have full time employment. So, what does radio mean for retail marketers? Well, for one, it has the widest reach of any medium, digital or traditional. Two: it can be accessed when potential buyers are on the road and close to a point of purchase, and, finally, the population who is tuning in the most happens to also have disposable income. So, there you have it! In the world of retail marketing, radio is a no-brainer.

You Can’t “Skip” Print Ads

It doesn’t get much more diverse than print marketing. In this category, we have: newspaper ads, targeted direct mail, magazine ads, brochures, billboards and so much more. Print advertising offers a versatile and highly customizable traditional media marketing strategy that plays right into the hands of media marketing for retail stores. For example, Marketing Tech News notes that “79 percent of consumers will act on direct mail immediately compared to only 45 percent who say they deal with email straightaway.” Targeted direct mail also has a higher response rate than targeted email campaigns, 4.4 percent versus 0.12 percent, respectively. People are also more likely to pay attention to ads featured in print publications than those online. In a survey conducted by Ask Your Target Market, 36 percent said they sometimes pay attention to ads online while 43 percent said they sometimes pay attention to print ads. Out-of-home print advertising, like billboards and bus sides, also falls under the category of print advertisement, and can also be powerful retail marketing strategies. According to the Outdoor Advertising Association of America, global out-of-home advertising spend is predicted to soar to $33 billion by 2021. As ad-blocking on online channels becomes more popular, brands are seeking out ways to catch people’s attention, and large-scale print advertising certainly achieves that goal.

The numbers don’t lie – traditional media marketing strategies are still relevant to marketers, no matter what the headlines say – but no form of marketing is an island. In order to tell a complete story and reach the widest audience possible, marketing for retail stores needs to appear on both traditional and digital channels. Because we consume media in so many different ways, it only makes sense to have a presence on as many media channels as possible. We might be on social media one second and watching television the next; we could switch from FM radio to our favorite Pandora station in an instant. There is a time and a place for every form of media and it’s up to response marketers to have a presence on these channels when people tune-in. Finding that happy medium between traditional and digital marketing for retail will boost engagement and brand recognition, so your retail marketing strategy achieves results today.


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