When I left the radio industry and first started my marketing company in 2007, most of my previous clients wanted me to help them advertise on the Internet. One of the most frequent questions I got was “The Internet has made traditional advertising obsolete, right?”. There was this idea that the Internet was going to make all other marketing channels obsolete and ineffective. This was regularly perpetuated by Internet marketing companies who looked to capitalize on the online craze, regardless of any real evidence that the Internet would replace everything else.
As a result, the Internet was thought of as a marketing “magic pill”. Add the Great Recession into the mix and you have significantly-reduced spending on TV, radio, direct mail (also print) and increased spending on Internet advertising. Now that the dust has settled (has it settled?), we can look back and see that the Internet is important as a foundational marketing channel and works better in addition to traditional advertising. While traditional media outlets have had to make some changes to improve effectiveness and accountability, the reports of the “death of traditional advertising” were highly exaggerated. (more…)