By SHANTEY WILSON, New Business Development Specialist

Millennial Media

Is traditional media really a waste of money? This has been an ongoing debate for quite some time. Depending on who you ask and depending on their industry, the answer is an astounding yes.

However, we feel a little differently at dio.

Traditional media, consisting of print advertising, TV/radio and direct mail, isn’t going anywhere…at least not during our lifetimes. But instead of wondering if it’s a waste of precious dollars, perhaps a better question is, “How can I maximize my traditional media ROI?”

Enter experiential marketing. Yes, it’s one of those annoying trendy buzzwords that’s been thrown around a lot in recent years. But what exactly is it? Plain and simple, we define experiential marketing as a strategy that encourages consumers to participate, engage or interact with a brand in the physical world.

A TV commercial may have aired during a much coveted primetime spot and a static billboard may have the most humorous CTA or stunning imagery. But are they effective by themselves? No doubt these mediums are getting some attention and can even increase sales and recognition for some brands. But the truth is, there’s no real engagement occurring with the targeted audience. It’s pretty impossible to sample a hot cup of delicious organic coffee or fully experience an exotic travel destination with all five senses through traditional media, right?

This is why making the investment to add experiential strategies to a traditional media plan is extremely beneficial. According to consumers surveyed by EventTrack, 98% are more inclined to take action after participating in a branded experience.

Engagement is the gateway to influence…and ultimately more profit.

Unlike the whole digital vs. traditional argument, there is no “either/or” philosophy with experiential marketing. It can be easily integrated into any existing marketing plan to optimize other strategies. For example, a brand that has already invested in traditional media for the year can simply enhance their plan by executing activations throughout their key markets. This way, consumers would have the opportunity to hold/taste/smell/try on the product being marketed. Or if the brand provides a service, brand ambassadors can educate and entertain consumers on a more personal basis.

Also, any video footage and photos from an activation can be made into a TV commercial, print or digital ad. An activation can also trend on social media, taking a brand’s reach to levels traditional media could not possibly reach by itself (see how Montana brought Big Sky Country to their top three markets and 1.25+ Twitter followers).

So if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Keep spending on traditional media if it’s working. But we’ve proven pairing traditional media with experiential marketing is a powerfully effective (and fun!) strategy that yields more ROI.

Want to know how we can help you? Give us a shout.