In this blog, we’ll continue analyzing the results of Nielsen’s 2022 Annual Marketing Report data, specifically, the statistics around the perceived effectiveness of primary paid traditional channels. This was a global survey, combining perceptions and data across the globe.

Now, before you take a minute and analyze these numbers, let me provide some personal thoughts on research I’ve learned throughout my 30+ years in media and marketing. Research provides a fantastic snapshot of opinions and trends. It provides significant, usable data and statistics to consider when you are planning your next steps. It’s not gospel, it’s not fool-proof, and it’s not an end all-be all roadmap to success. It’s another tool in the belt. It represents truth of those surveyed and can represent justification of one’s marketing choices and success, or in some cases, it cannot. Even interpretations of experts can vary. For my dollar though, I hold research results in high regard and consideration for any marketing efforts I suggest…along with applying my personal experience, market knowledge and conditions, gut instinct, wind speed, etc. (Well, not wind speed) Now, on with the countdown…

The survey asked: “Please rank the effectiveness of each of the following paid media channels for your business.” Percentages were calculated to rank these primary media channels by combining the responses selected of ‘extremely confident’ + ‘very confident’ from those surveyed. Here’s how the Paid Traditional Channels ranked:

  1. Tie – 47% – Linear TV (Live Television)
  2. Tie – 47% – OOH (Out Of Home, i.e., Billboards)
  3.          46% – Direct Mail (Flyers/Cards/Letters mailed to consumers)
  4. Tie – 43% – Print (Newspapers/Magazines)
  5. Tie – 43% – Cinema (Movie Theater Ads)
  6.          41% – AM/FM Radio

The Nielsen report takeaway from paid traditional channels was that “marketers plan to increase their spending significantly less across Linear TV and Radio than across Social Media in 2022”. I’ll have more on the report’s digital channel analysis in the next Blog, which will explain their takeaway. But, as a teaser, I can tell you that the lowest ranked digital marketing channel is Podcasting, which, if ranked among its traditional channel peers, would come in at #4 at 44%. The highest ranked digital channel came in at 64%. (Doing that math…17% points HIGHER than Linear TV, the top traditional channel) Nielsen did issue a caveat addendum to this 2022 report and referenced their ‘Trust in Advertising’ survey from 2021. There they stated that “In addition to garnering higher consumer trust than many digital channels, TV and Radio are more traditionally aligned with brand building and new consumer acquisition efforts.”

This is where some may say “I don’t, and I don’t know ANYONE who (Add one following verb and one paid traditional channel noun) – (watches/listens to/reads/goes to) the (TV/Radio/Newspaper or Billboards or ‘Junk Mail’/Movies).” To which I say, “I don’t, and I don’t know anyone who speaks Chinese, but I know 1 in 7 people on the planet Earth do.” All joking aside, I would encourage you to keep an open mind, as our personal circles tend to be much smaller than we realize, and the ocean of potential customers we need to reach exists outside of our own personal, geographic and entertainment-seeking circles.

I believe digital channels have higher perceived buyer confidence than traditional channels because digital options offer analytics, insights, trackable measurement and superior focused-targeting abilities. Simple as that. It’s not because traditional channels don’t work, because they can and do…they have for decades. And while terrestrial TV options are catching up with analytical data and household targeting abilities, they just can’t offer the level of results-tracking insight that digital elements do. Their means of reach and audience measurement aren’t as comprehensive or precise…yet, but they’re coming. In the world pre-digital, one would advertise on the radio, and if customers started coming in, you would attribute that to your marketing. Ad in the paper, and your phone rings? Had to be your marketing. In today’s digital age, you get access to all the data, even customer behaviors, whereas with traditional channels, the result (more sales) is the determining factor of effectiveness, which makes using traditional channels for marketing appear to be a higher-risk proposition…almost a shot-in-the-dark gamble comparatively.

We at CMOco can help navigate the best traditional channel marketing options for your business and guide you, no matter what your budget is.

In our next blog, we’ll investigate the Nielsen survey results about the new kids on the block…paid digital channels. We’ll look at why confidence is significantly higher in the digital spectrum of marketing and figure out which ones have ‘The Right Stuff’ for your business….

~Bruce Thiem, CMOco Director of Integrated Media