An interesting notion arose the other day while putting together a proposal for a new client. It was during this process that the phrase “Traditional Online Media” was used, and in a fairly blasé manner at that.
It was used to describe the way in which said client made use of online platforms, such as Facebook and Twitter, in a market where this was predictable and very much the norm. This was the first time this phrase had been used in our agency and it’s created some food for thought.
You’ve got the fans and followers, now what?
It must be said, that prior to seeking our services, this particular client was utilising these “traditional” platforms with considerable efficiency and had managed to build themselves a respectable number of fans and followers.
So why then were they looking for our help? Why did they feel it was necessary to further invest in an online strategy, when what they were already doing would by and large be considered to be working? And does the phrase ‘traditional online media’ have any relevance or place at this point in time?
Good is the enemy of great.
To briefly answer the first two points, it may well be because our client, through their old school 4 P’s view of the online space, was able to see that these Likes were not translating into sales. What a realisation that was.
It’s a fact; big numbers on social media don’t equal big sales. They simply mean a large, willing audience with whom to converse and engage. That thought is an article unto itself, so for now we’ll concentrate on the third point.
What is traditional online media and is 2014 too early to be using such words?
In the sense it was used, traditional online media would describe the choice and use of online platforms for brand communication, due to their acceptance and normality, particularly within the sphere that said brand operates. Things like Email Marketing, Online Newsletters, and to a large extent Facebook and Twitter as well.
We’re not suggesting that these platforms don’t yield great results when used effectively; we’re simply suggesting that they’ve become the go-to platforms for the digital communication component of a brand’s communication offering – much like a TV ad in the 90’s.
Digital dog years.
While it’s still very much early days for digital and online communications, we need to bear in mind that this is an industry that grows and ages rapidly. It’s somewhat analogous to the human versus dog year comparison of 1 to 7.
So no, it’s not too early to be using a phrase such as traditional online media. Word it as you may, the point is that just because it’s online doesn’t make it cutting edge. Having an online presence is no longer a differentiator; it’s really just your ticket to the show.
So hats off to our client for realising something that many (including many industry professionals) don’t: while Likes sure look good, it takes carefully crafted strategy to turn those Likes into sales. It’s what you do with your audience that counts. Being online is not a strategy, at least, not anymore.