A question that keeps popping up and a topic that I have had conversations multiple times both with clients and vendors as well as with MBA students in some of the post-graduate classes that I teach; is traditional marketing doomed to die? It’s a good question because the world around us is constantly changing as better technology is introduced and the methods that we use to communicate with prospective customers has changed dramatically over the past few years. We have gone from a two media world to a three media world, it was not that long ago when there were two major media’s; TV/Radio and Print and now we have a third Major Media and that is the Internet. The Internet has changed the world around us, it has changed how consumers get information and it has changed how businesses provide that information. So before we can answer the question of whether traditional marketing is doomed to die let’s look at how some of the traditional technologies are used in conjunction with the new.
Television is still watched by the masses and is still used as an advertising media, however the Internet has changed some of the ways we watch television. Every major network has made many of their popular television shows available on the Internet, and along with this new method of people watching their favorite TV shows it is also a new method for advertising. TV and television are also being married in some ways; a good example is Direct T.V.’s movies and videos on demand; they are downloaded from the Internet using wireless Internet connected to your Direct T.V. receiver. It has been suggested that this may be how all of television is accessed in the future.
Radio is still listened to; however traditional radio being broadcast over FM and AM is quickly being overtaken by satellite radio. Satellite radio has many more channels and is not restricted by where you live and most have no commercials.
Newspapers are still in business and still deliver the daily news and while that delivery is still available in the old fashioned way, many people have opted to read the paper online instead of having it thrown on their driveway each day. According to Moody’s Investor Service newspaper ad revenue declined by more than 27% in 2009 (mediadecoder.blogs.nytimes.com). According to multiple sources including marketingvox.com newspaper ad revenue is at an all time low including the online version. Newspapers are facing tough competition online in just about every area of advertising that they offer.
So the question of whether traditional advertising is doomed to die stills begs to be answered and the answer in my opinion is that TV and Radio are here to stay and will not die they will simply evolve as they are already doing. The platform in which we watch TV and listen to the radio may change but TV and Radio are here to stay, at least for the moment. Newspapers both online and off is a tough one to answer and the current outlook isn’t too promising, but I am not willing to close the book on them just yet, there is still time, we will just have to wait and see.