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The Awareness Game

We are constantly asked about the difference between ‘Traditional’ and ‘Digital’ marketing, recently we were referenced in the Prince George Citizen after one of our RTOWNers held an event to help local businesses better understand the digital landscape and their local marketing options.

So where are we? What matters? And should you radically change the way you market your business?

As technology advances at an ever-increasing pace, the mediums with which we consume media, and give our attention have shifted. No one should argue with the facts. As the wider media landscape adapts, develops, and forges ahead with this progress, it can be difficult for local economies to keep pace and navigate this new marketing space.

The shrinking size of our newspapers and directory books is enough evidence, but we can also turn to many researchers for other evidence. For example, Mary Meeker is one who has been publishing boatloads of data for years.

% of time spent in media vs % of advertising spending, USA 2016

Links to source her data for the research is here: 2014, 2015, 2016 & 2017.

The research shows a steady decline, year over year, of people’s time spent on traditional forms of media across tv, radio & print and a steady incline of users of Internet and Mobile. According to the research, where businesses spend their advertising dollars has correspondingly followed suit, just lagging behind a bit.

Change is good

So, the attention spans and media consumption habits have changed, so have the platforms and business models that supply the content and build the delivery frameworks. The measurement and accountability for every eyeball is a revolution for the entire media industry and is paving the way for more affordable and effective marketing. We believe local businesses can capitalize on these shifts in attention and should absolutely adapt their marketing spending to suit. If other local businesses that operate in the media arena have adapted their businesses to tackle these changes and provide accurate measurable data, we would also recommend them as part of the strategy.

It’s no longer digital marketing, it’s just marketing

We know that digital marketing works when it’s done right. We also hear from customers that traditional marketing works for them when it’s done right too. Our teams are trained ‘not’ to force any sale. If a customer is getting a return from where they’re spending, our advice and training to our staff is centered around ‘don’t change what’s working, just don’t ever stop measuring it.’

We know digital marketing works. We also know it’s the more cost-effective option in comparison to traditional media spending. We know this because we measure it. We know this because the cost to play in the web is lower. As is the barrier to entry. If you have found your audience, are comfortable with your spend and can see the data linked to the results, you are in a great place to make smart desicions. That’s called good marketing.

Facebook and Google, like the Internet, are so large now that they can only be described as a platform. Perhaps they’re so big now that they can even be viewed as a regulatory body, who happen to also own their own platforms. Radio and TV are a platform. Print is a platform. Without getting into the regulatory debate, I’ll simply say that platforms and regulatory bodies are not inherently evil. How people run them and/or use them is where the critical analysis lies.

On helping local economies, RTOWN and many other companies like us exist as local businesses in partnership with AND on top of the platforms that Google, Facebook and the wider Internet and Mobile markets have created. We have grown our employee base to make our company one of the largest digital marketing companies in BC. We give RTOWNers ownership shares in our company and continue to grow into new markets and invest in those communities. To say that Google and Facebook, or Apple, Amazon and Microsoft for that matter, aren’t a part of our, and many other technology company’s existence, wouldn’t be telling the whole story.

There should not be such a thing as ‘a difference between traditional and digital media’, just measurable marketing powered by transparent, honest mediums.