Marketing Myth: Traditional Media is Dead

Mary Ann


April 12, 2021

I can understand the popularity of this particular myth: the constant news of emerging digital technologies and multiplying streaming platforms can easily crowd out our attention to traditional media. New frontiers and opportunities in online, digital, and mobile marketing often distract us from the continuing effectiveness of the tried-and-true media channels. But studies show that traditional media still plays an important role in attracting and retaining customers. Here are a few of the traditional media that I recommend keeping in mind as components of successful media plans.


Depending on your market and target audience, newspaper ads can be an effective way to promote a message, especially with a programmatic buy that also incorporates banner ads or social media posts for an integrated campaign. Magazines are usually targeted toward a very niche demographic, so these can be a great place to reach specific target markets. Most magazines also have a digital platform to advertise on as well, so be sure to ask about how to combine website and social media placement with printed promotion.


Radio continues to offer a local platform for brands to reach a mass audience at a high frequency with a relatively low cost. Radio also allows for reach on a selective format, so you can target a specific audience as easily as carefully buying certain stations. It also boasts a low production cost, making it very useful in getting the most out of a tight budget.


Because TV advertising is highly visual, it also offers one of the highest impacts in media. And due to the popularity of streaming services, there are far more placement opportunities to run television advertisements. With more viewers using DVR’s, I consider live and local a key component of any television buy, as it can capture a given audience at the time you wish to deliver your message.

Out of Home

Outdoor billboard advertising still provides one of the highest reaches within a specific media mix while also offering one of the lowest CPM’s, depending on the market. Billboards have a high impact based on their size and that they reach the most eyeballs in a given day. They can also be strategically placed allowing the location to reach the intended target.

With these options and more, traditional media is definitely not dead and will continue to play a vital role in today’s marketing mix. Strategically combining traditional and digital marketing efforts gives your campaign the best of both worlds, and enables you to reach a wider audience. With more buyers straying away from traditional advertising, more opportunities are opening to leverage these platforms in your media buys.


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