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Traditional Media: Still Highly Effective for Reaching the Masses

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Lisa Carollo

With new and exciting forms of media debuting all the time, it’s tempting to change the direction of your advertising and marketing strategies. Fresh forms of entertainment have an undeniable appeal, but multiple studies show that traditional media still has a valuable role to play in your marketing mix.

Even the hottest trending programs haven’t yet displaced staples that have been a part of consumers’ regular routines for decades. A truly well-rounded campaign will perform the best with broad mass media and targeted advertising combined yielding the best results. Consider these compelling numbers and see why mass media should be a significant part of every marketing plan.

The Real Radio Buzz

Radio transformed public communication when it first was introduced to the masses, and it’s maintained a firm grip on the public ever since. Although streaming media is slowly growing in popularity, traditional AM/FM radio remains the behemoth to contend with.

Consider, for example, that radio boasts a sizeable monthly audience of 252 million people, which is second only to television in terms of user engagement:

Nielsen traditional media infographic
Image via Nielsen.com

And according to a 2015 report published by the Pew Research Center, just 53 percent of Americans 12 and older had listened to online radio within the last month, while 91 percent of this demographic listened to traditional radio within the last week.

Streaming services are still establishing themselves, and many listeners haven’t found their niche yet, while popular radio stations have loyal fans who have tuned in for years.

Couple this with the fact that the designated media areas (DMAs) for radio often will allow you to more efficiently target your service area with less waste, and traditional radio is still the way to go when it comes to reaching a stable and defined audience.

Trends in Traditional Television

Network television has a particularly strong pull. In 2014, local TV saw a three percent increase in viewership for evening newscasts, and a two percent increase for those in the morning.

Half of all revenue for news-producing stations comes from local news. Live TV is still the medium of choice for most viewers, with the average American consuming more than four hours of live television each day.
Statista Television habits for Americans - Media Buying
Image via Statista

You might expect this viewership to consist primarily of an older audience, but 78 percent of millennial voters watch broadcast TV at least once a week. Though tech-savvy, this audience is still more likely to turn to broadcast television than a media website or social networking platform.

If you’re reevaluating your marketing strategy, you may want to consider placing a good chunk of your advertising where long-time viewers will see and trust it. You’ll find a broad audience here who already has an established relationship with their preferred station.

At Mediagistic, our approach to media planning and buying is holistic and unbiased. Because we’re a full-service agency, our only goal is to help your business achieve its advertising and branding goals without a ton of advertising waste. Put your media planning into our hands today and get back to running your business.


Lisa Carollo is Mediagistic’s Vice President of Media Operations. She has dedicated years and a great deal of energy into designing our proprietary media buying system and building a buying team that could execute the Mediagistic strategy for bringing national buying power to local businesses.

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