From the Trenches

How Traditional Media Companies Can Conquer the Digital Wave

Right Source | June 5, 2012

I recently returned from addressing the Media Financial Management Association conference in Las Vegas.  Despite the festive diversions outside the conference center, the audience of executives from traditional media companies—newspapers, radio stations and TV—were all anxious about the same challenge: how to integrate digital marketing services with their traditional offerings.

Consumers and businesses have more entertainment and information choices than ever before and audiences are increasingly fragmented.

Advertisers are demanding digital exposure. In fact, digital marketing expenditures are projected to rise to 26 percent of all marketing spending by 2016, according to the Forrester Research forecast shown below. As you can see, the largest share will continue to be search marketing and online display advertising.

Forrester Research Interactive Marketing Forecasts

As confusing as the digital environment may be, this new marketing arena offers traditional media companies exciting new opportunities to help advertisers reach the entire market, not just consumers who subscribe to their print publications or regularly watch or listen to their broadcasts.

I saw the power of this transformation firsthand during my work with South Central Media in Nashville, TN.  Until 2009, South Central Media was a traditional company. Actually, the present company name reflects a major re-branding. Before the change, the organization was known as South Central Radio Group.

We understood that digital was here to stay and would only grow. Soon after beginning, we realized that we needed to offer services that were easily scalable such as paid search, search engine optimization (SEO), online display advertising, Facebook advertising, and templated landing pages and websites. More difficult to scale are custom websites and landing pages, along with social media and email marketing.

We succeeded as a result of a strong commitment from the executive team. This enabled us to bring in digital marketing talent and to provide the entire staff with ongoing training. With a sales team now positioned to bring in digital business, we built a digital delivery capability with digital marketing staffers and strategic partnerships.

Today, South Central Media is a premier provider of traditional and digital marketing services in Nashville, TN, Knoxville, TN and Evansville, IN. Digital represents an increasing percentage of their overall business. As a result of this combined traditional/digital offering, revenue from traditional advertising is solid. Most important, South Central Media has strengthened relationships with advertisers who appreciate having a trusted marketing adviser delivering measureable results for their businesses.

If you’re with a traditional media company, please share how you are incorporating digital marketing services into your business. And if you’d like to explore ideas to better add digital to the marketing services you provide advertisers, we are always interested in hearing from you.


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