There's an age old saying which applies very well to advertising. "Out of sight, out of mind." Back in the days of TV dominated reach and frequency, this principle ruled the lives of media planners for decades. Of course, today's metrics have changed somewhat, but the principle hasn't. If you're not in sight or not within an ear shot, you're likely to be forgotten. You need to be front and center in the minds of your partners or consumers. But the way you go about that is certainly changing and what you do when you get there, makes all the difference. Cutting through the clutter is a nice cliche, but doesn't (if you'll pardon another) cut the mustard anymore.
Through traditional and social media channels, brands can now interact in more meaningful ways that relate relevantly within personal, social and cultural engagement in order to cultivate advocacy and loyalty. It's an integrated approach that keeps you in the conversation, and keeps your footprint fresh. How you measure that, is another discussion for another time. But one thing is certain. All forms and channels of marketing and advertising must be equally as important or equally validated if full-service agencies are to truly serve their clients effectively.
Despite claims to the contrary, traditional is not dead, and social media is not a fad. It's here to stay, and has already revolutionized the industry. Be wary of any consultant or expert who tells you there is only one way to do things. There isn't. All need to work together for the good of your brand; transparency and credibility, forming and connecting to communities of influence, and nurturing relationships built on mutual trust.
What we need to watch for and be mindful of going forward however, is that the research is still in flux because our society is in flux and students of culture are constantly aware of it. Some of the findings are somewhat counterintuitive because we continue to see a shift in the way people live their lives, the evolution of habits, values, and priorities, etc. But the human mind still seems to work and respond predictably in different ways to different stimuli, and knowing this vital aspect of psychology will go far in helping you get the most out of your marketing mix and creative strategy. For instance, a message received through passive or relaxed viewing of a television spot is received quite differently than one competing for the attention of someone actively engaged online, or driving distractedly past a billboard in rush hour traffic for that matter.
To illustrate my point, many advertisers are shifting more and more of their budgets to digital media yet still feel they don’t have a handle on advertising in a digital context. Hence, all the experimentation as many are learning what works and what doesn't in our new socially mediated world. But there's one guideline which cannot be overstated. Choose your advertising medium mix based on its strength in relationship to your purpose and what you're trying to accomplish. Remember everyone gets to tell your story now, so it takes the right mix to clearly articulate your brand, it's promise, product offering, and what the customer can consistently expect to experience by buying into that story, and investing in a relationship with you.