What Does Traditional Media Have To Do?

Yesterday I received a comment for my post on Online Coupons.  She asked “how do we still make the argument for traditional advertising”? My answer; it’s all up to traditional advertising.

Working with traditional advertising today is not what it once was.  Today they are more like car salesmen.  When I first got into the live entertainment business the traditional media were our partners.  The deals we cut with TV and radio was a partnership.  It was not just a cash buy.  The deals we put together included promotional spots, trade spots, and a cash schedule. We could put together a couple of good deals with a few TV and radio stations and own the market. 

The media promotional deal needed to have teeth.  Promotions were vital to the success of the marketing campaign.  It was not unusual to get six TV promotional spots a day over four weeks. Add the trade and the cash buy and you really made a statement in the market.  Ticket buyers actually thought the media outlet brought our shows into town.

Why did this all change?  My theory is that the media decided to change from partner to just sales person. They went with the attitude that “we had to buy them”.  The big family show marketers (who had the best deals) didn’t fight back. They gave in! Concert promoters never took the time to put really good promotional deals together.  They were satisfied with a week-long 5-4-3-2-1 promotion during morning drive and spending way too much money to get it.  Bottom line is we let the traditional advertising control our marketing!

As traditional media sat back and collected our cash, our ticket sales fell, our marketing budgets stalled, and the cost of media went up.  Marketers needed to look at new ways to market.  We found that we had this new source for getting our message out called the internet and its social media outlets.  It does work.  As marketers, all we need to do is create the energy to power it. 

Can traditional advertising get us back?  They can if they want to step up into 21st century thinking.  If they just hold out their hand and ask for money in exchange for advertising, then the answer is No.  If they want to become true partners to achieve success for our events, then Yes!


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4 Responses to “What Does Traditional Media Have To Do?”

  1. Nathan Dennison Says:

    Some promoters (i.e. Cirque, Globetrotters, Feld) still do insist on cash, trade and promotion deals. I am sure the “partnership” deals of today don’t have the depth or breadth that they may have had in the past. As event promoters (venue or show), we have to insist on getting all-encompassing deals from traditional media and not settling. Thanks Joe!

  2. Peter Sullivan Says:

    Interesting post. Having been a traditional media rep (print) for years and dealing with the concert and family show folks I have a little different take on it. The cash/trade/promotion concept was a nice deal when times were flush, the lower average rates that these deals generated were easy to make up with a full page ad from Fleet Bank or American Airlines. You see where I am going with this, right. Now, you are expected to offer as much or more added value, as before, but the rest of the equation isn’t there to support it. TV, Radio and Newspapers are running on much lower margins today, so you need to find more creative ways to promote your show, than running fifty, free, house ads for the show. It is not that the sales people you deal with are “Car Salesman” they and the promoters just need to come up with more creative ways to do more with less space, time and air.

  3. Troy Says:

    I hadn’t too much thought about traditional vs. more recent methods. I do like the traditional way of advertising than what has come about. But like the world, we must adapt to it’s ever changing ways.

  4. Smart Traffic SEO Company Says:

    Very informative post and I must say that traditional advertising is slowly dying over the years although as things change, so can the traditional way. It only falls if the traditional ways of advertising can adapt new things.

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