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!