Is your business overvaluing online marketing and undervaluing traditional media?

The hype around online marketing and specifically online video continues to grow. However, are agencies and advertisers heavily overvaluing the effectiveness of online marketing and undervaluing traditional media such as radio, newspapers, and magazines? 

According to Ebiquity UK, it’s a yes. Ebiquity UK measured advertiser and agency perceptions against actual performance from more than 4,500 campaigns and industry research. Here’s the rundown. 

The research considered the five most important media attributes for growing a brand in the longer term, including – targeting the right people in the right place at the right time; increasing campaign ROI; triggering a positive emotional response; increasing brand salience, and maximising campaign reach. 

What did the evidence conclude? At the top, TV, and radio. TV was the best performing medium, followed by radio, newspapers, magazines and out of home. Online display was the weakest performer.


Even more surprisingly, the evidence demonstrates that radio is the most flexible medium as it can be used to target audiences by geography, demographics, context, time of day, the day of week and, to a more limited extend, addressable for listeners on connected devices. 

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The evidence demonstrates a clear disconnect between the scale of investment in online media and the value it delivers. The media landscape has undergone a serious shift over the last decade with latest data from the Advertising Association and WaRC showing that online media accounted for an unprecedented 51% of advertising spend in 2016. And this is only expected to grow.

So, is it safe to say advertisers undervalue traditional media, especially radio, and overrate the value of online video and paid social?

We also think yes. However… Ebiquity UK, an independent marketing analytics specialist, conducted this study for their paying client Radiocentre – the industry body for commercial radio. So, is it really a surprise Radio performed so well, and online video and display -  traditional media’s biggest adversary - performed so poorly? We’ll let you decide. 

Nevertheless, we think the study sheds some much-needed light on the traditional media versus digital media landscape. Too many brands, business and marketing agencies believe online marketing is the be all and end all, but there will always be a place for traditional media to help grow your business. Have a read through the case study yourself and let us know your thoughts.