Traditional Advertising is Dying

Advertising has never been more alive than today. But traditional advertising efforts are declining in their effectiveness. And the reason being: Consumers want and expect, to be heard.

Unfortunately, traditional advertising is unable to provide a two-way relationship, because it is based on the premise of broadcast: the one-to-many paradigm. This means that the advertiser can only make an impression or get attention — in print, radio, television, and even some forms of digital — by talking to (or at) the consumer. The consumer can’t communicate back, and that’s why traditional advertising is dying.

In the magical world of social media, consumers and advertisers can engage and share in an interesting, interactive conversation that makes bi-directionality possible. In this way, social media is becoming digital word-of-mouth at scale – and, after all, consumers trust word-of-mouth above all other marketing media.

Brands now show more faith on their loyal customers. If a tweet resonates with fans, a brand can then use its marketing dollars to facilitate this organic sharing among consumers and amplify it in order to drive sales. Audi’s #wantanr8 campaign is a good case in point here: Customers are incentivized to share the hashtag in order to win a drive.

Brands like Adidas and Cadbury are slowing moving away from TV advertising and focusing more on Digital channels.

“All of our engagement with the consumer is through digital media and we believe in the next three years we can take our online business from approximately 1 billion (euro) to 4 billion (euro) and create a much more direct engagement with consumers”, said Chief Executive Kasper Rorsted to CNBC in an interview recently.

Mondelez International, owner of Brand Cadbury, tested effectiveness of Facebook with its 2-month “Badhti Dosti ke Naam” multichannel campaign, which shows people building friendships by sharing Cadbury Dairy Milk. As per the Millward Brown cross-media study conducted by Cadbury to understand the impact of Facebook in this campaign, reported the following result:

  • 5.8% increase in top-of-mind awareness
  • 5.1% increase in brand consideration completely attributed to Facebook
  • 5.7% incremental reach over TV
  • 8.1% incremental reach over light TV viewers
  • 2.8% increase in spontaneous awareness
  • 10X impact on Facebook advertising spend

(Data source:

Report of Facebook campaign

On this Prashant Peres, Director – Chocolates, Mondelēz India, says “Mondelez in India has consistently been pushing the envelope in terms of using digital channels. In this case, we’ve seen some significant improvements on brand awareness for our biggest brand, Cadbury Dairy Milk.”

According to figures from MAGNA, $299 billion annually is expected to be spent on digital advertising globally by 2021.

Considering Indian market, as per Central Statistics Organization and the International Monetary Fund, today 34.8% of India’s population is using the Internet, and this is going to increase more than 55% by 2025. In 2016, about 19 percent of the average Indian marketers’ budget was allocated to online marketing activities. However a quarter of these marketers plan to increase their investment in digital marketing activities by more than 21% in 2017.

Check out another success story of Gomaji, Taiwan. Gomaji is the largest platform for food, beverage and amusement coupons in Taiwan. It was established in 2010 with a mission to provide consumers with high-quality offers at a lower cost, while helping shops and restaurants fill vacancies. They used dynamic app install ads in Facebook to increase downloads and in-app purchases, helping it attain the biggest market share for online coupon sales in Taiwan. Their campaign helped them achieve below stats just in two months:

  • decrease cost per install by 28%
  • decrease cost per transaction by 50%, and
  • increased in mobile in-app purchase by 3.5 times

Rio Chen, Vice President of Marketing, Gomaji says, “Our marketing campaign is not only growing each day, but is also becoming more diverse. The team at Facebook has a thorough understanding of our needs, and proactively provided an automated and effective plan to further increase mobile app downloads. The campaign has freed up time and human resources for communicating directly with all our customers: consumers, shops and restaurants.” After their success with Facebook ads, they increased its marketing spend to 12.5X the original budget. Because the company now spends less time marketing, it has more time to focus on improving the platform for consumers, shops and restaurants.

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Social Media marketing is particularly effective for two reasons. Firstly, brands can leverage existing organic content to create sponsored native ads. And, secondly, they can create and distribute content that mimics what has worked organically.

Brands need to start thinking like consumers and understand how their customers are sharing and consuming content. Unlike traditional advertising, where talented marketers, artists, designers and copywriters sitting in offices and using their intelligence and skill to anticipate what will resonate with the target customer group, the creative process starts with the customer now, rather than ending with it. Digital advertisers can leverage existing and ongoing conversations among their audience; find what’s effective, and repackage the work so it’s fully branded.

Frankly speaking, advertising is going to actually benefit the consumer –- which is unprecedented in the history of marketing –- because suddenly the marketing isn’t marketing at all; it is all about engagement with desired, organic content. That puts the last nail on the coffin of traditional advertising.

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