Is Digital Media Really a Mirror of Traditional Media?
It has been said that everything we see in the digital world today is a mirror of traditional media. For every digital media format, there is a comparison in the traditional media. This holds true as indicated by the following comparisons;
1. Snail Mail Vs email campaigns
2. Online Banner Adverts Vs The Billboard, Posters
3. Mobile Screen Vs TV Screen
4. Cinema Vs Online Video
5. Word of Mouth (WOM) Vs Grapevine
The question to be asked is, in the absence of adequate digital skills, should planners that are embracing digital for the first time use the comparisons as a basis to do Digital Media Plans. It is unlikely that planners who copy and paste traditional plans onto the Digital Landscape are likely to succeed as explained by the following examples;
Example 1: Snail Mail Vs Email
A snail mail campaign targeted at pensioners may do well, whereas an email campaign to the same group may not produce the same result.
Snail mail response rates may be higher among pensioners in comparison to email since there may be limited use of digital among the age group. Although a debatable scenario arises whether snail mail posted to internet savvy young people would not get the same response as snail mail to pensioners, it is likely that internet savvy young people respond better to email campaigns.
Example : TV Vs Mobile
The glaring similarities between TV and Mobile are that they are both screens and are medium for advertisers to showcase their brands. Beyond that there are so many variations even as to how the ads are created, displayed, exposure times, measurability of results and interaction.
Whereas images on TV are clear and appealing to the eye, the same cannot be said for display ads and pictures on mobile because of the small size of the screen. Results on mobile campaigns are measurable to the last dot unlike TV. The campaigns on TV are delivered in scheduled and timed slots that would require the viewer to just view the campaign whilst waiting for programs to continue. Mobile ads may be viewed whilst browsing. They can be viewed in many formats; video, banner, text and many other variations. Ad viewing may be controlled by the viewer enabling disengagement or engagement with the campaign. The list of differences could go on and on.
This shows that although traditional and digital formats mirror each other, the mirroring only scratches the surfaces. There is actually a battlefield looming underneath seemingly similar mirroring platforms.