The Case For Traditional Advertising

by Al Loise

Mar 31, 2014

It may be hard to believe that an online marketing firm’s blog would have a post arguing for businesses to spend money on traditional advertising. In fact, traditional advertising can be a huge compliment to a company’s online marketing efforts, especially search, both paid and organic, but also programmatic display advertising, and YouTube search, as well as YouTube paid ads.

Senior living referral business “A Place For Mom” has certainly benefitted from complementing their traditional advertising with online marketing. If you are in the U.S., you have likely seen their TV spots or heard them on the radio. Their ads feature former morning show host Joan Lunden and have been played very frequently over the past year.

In the case of this business, their traditional ad spend has clearly resulted in increased inquiries. By using Google Trends and comparing their branded search queries year over year, we can see a significant increase in Google Searches for “A Place For Mom”. Below, the blue indicates search volume and inquires over the past year, the red for 2012-2013. Some months over the past year have even saw a 30-40% increase in branded searches for the brand. Any business owner or CMO would be delighted at a 30-40% increase in inquiries (although for this business, likely at a pretty high cost). It is safe to say that robust traditional advertising coincided with additional branded search volume for this company.

Wisely, like “A Place for Mom”, many companies know that it makes sense to couple traditional advertising efforts, such as TV, with a robust online campaign. Like moving a heavy object, TV advertising may push that object 80% of the way to the destination, but it is digital marketing efforts like search, that will pull the object to it’s destination.

When searching “A Place For Mom” on Google, it is apparent that they absolutely dominate the search engine results, with both PPC, a complete Google Plus page, and social media profiles, including YouTube, LinkedIn, Facebook, Pinterest as well as Wikipedia. Without knowing their specific analytic data, it is probably accurate to say that they are capturing most of the increased Google inquiries either via their website, or one of their many social media channels. Their success in digital marketing clearly makes the case for traditional advertising.


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