Marketing: A Case for Using Traditional Media

Online marketing is becoming necessary for brands because their customers and potential customers spend a lot of time on the Internet.

Mobile marketing is also becoming more important because it often gives brands the ability to reach their target audience when these consumers are making purchase decisions at retail stores offline.

However, online and mobile marketing should not replace a brand’s marketing messages that are delivered via traditional media channels (i.e., print, radio, television, etc.) Instead, online and mobile marketing should be used in addition to the brand’s other marketing efforts.

A recent study that was released by the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project reinforces this fact by pointing out that many consumers still don’t use the Internet.

As of August 2011, 78% of Americans age 18 or older used the Internet. This means that about one in five American adults can only be reached via the traditional media channels.

Demographic Comparisons

The survey results from the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project study point out that Internet usage among Americans age 18 or older is strongly correlated with age, education, and household income.

As would be expected, Americans age 18 to 29 are the most likely to use the Internet (94%).  In comparison, only 41% of Americans age 65 or older go online.

When examined by household income, we find that Internet usage ranges from 62% among adult Americans who live in households with incomes that are less than $30,000 per year to 97% among adult Americans living in households with household incomes of $75,000 or more.

It’s also interesting to note that only 43% of adult Americans who didn’t graduate high school go online. This percentage increases to 71% among adult Americans with a high school diploma. Furthermore, 88% of adult Americans who have attended some college courses use the Internet. As would be expected, this percentage is even higher among adult Americans with college degrees (94%).

Nonusers Are Just Not Interested in the Internet

According to another study that was conducted by the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project in the spring of 2010, only 10% of adult Americans who weren’t Internet users at the time that the study was conducted indicated that they would like to start using the Internet or email in the future.

Final Thoughts

Online and mobile marketing are becoming increasingly more important for brands.

However, given the fact that only 78% of Americans age 18 or older go online, it’s important to remember that brands still need to use traditional media channels when marketing their products or services to consumers.

In fact, marketing campaigns that are delivered via the traditional media channels are even more important for brands that are targeting older, less educated, and less affluent consumers because these consumers are the least likely to go online.

Moreover, brands that are targeting consumers who are likely to use the Internet should still use other media channels to get their message out. After all, many Internet users still consume content via the traditional media channels. If consumers haven’t abandoned these traditional media channels, why should brands?

The key is know where your customers and potential customers consume content, and then advertise there.

Photo credit: bossco on Flickr.

Chad Thiele

Chad Thiele

Marketing analyst and strategist, content curator, applied sociologist, proud UW-Madison alumnus, and an Auburn-trained mobile marketer. My goal is to help businesses identify trends that will help them achieve their marketing objectives and business goals. I'm currently looking for my next career challenge. Please feel free to contact me anytime at: