“Your business relies on a variety of marketing and advertising methods to reach potential customers and leads,” according to internet marketing agency WebpageFX. “Over time, the marketing methods you use have likely evolved, changed, or even been retired and replaced with new ones.”

These new methods, often referred to as “new media,” are contrasted by traditional forms of media known as “old media.” As you decide what’s best for your business, you’ll need to evaluate old media vs new media and see how they fit into your marketing plan.

What Is Traditional or Old Media?

Traditional or old media refers to forms of media that were common prior to the Information Age. Old media can include the following institutions and marketing methods:

•  Television
•  Radio
•  Print
•  Direct mail
•  Billboards/signage
•  Cold calling
•  Door-to-door

Old media is for the most part mass media, makes use of one-way technologies and is not interactive. It is associated with outbound marketing, or the traditional form of marketing where a company initiates the conversation and sends a message out to an audience, according to online marketing software and services company WordStream.

What Is New Media?

New media refers to forms of media found in the current digital age. In the context of advertising and marketing, new media can include the following:

•  Search engine optimization
•  Pay-per-click advertising
•  Content marketing
•  Social media
•  Email

New media involves “those digital media that are interactive, incorporate two-way communication, and involve some form of computing,” according to Robert Logan in his book, Understanding New Media. New media is “very easily processed, stored, transformed, retrieved, hyper-linked, and perhaps most radical of all, easily searched for and accessed.”

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Many new media forms are associated with inbound marketing, where the customers find the business, mostly through various paid and natural search engine marketing methods, according to WordStream. An exception would be email marketing, which still involves the business initiating the conversation and sending a message to the audience. An example of inbound marketing in new media would include a business working to improve its search engine results for terms relevant to the organization. When members of its audience search for these terms, they can more easily find what they’re looking for at the company’s website.

Old Media vs New Media: Make the Right Choice

Keep the following points in mind when looking at old media vs new media in your marketing plans.

•  Consider your demographic. Each media outlet resonates differently with specific audiences. Define your audience and evaluate the effectiveness of reaching your audience before committing to a marketing channel. You’ll need to research and/or test the marketing channel with your audience.

•  Consider your resources. Some forms of old media can be expensive. New media outlets that utilize inbound marketing methods can potentially work better if you have a smaller budget; however, they can also require a longer timeline to see returns. Evaluate your marketing budget along with each channel you’re considering.

•  Consider your timeline. There is a considerable difference in results between old media and new media (and especially with outbound marketing and inbound marketing).

•  Consider your project requirements. It can be difficult to track your return on investment with forms of old media marketing, such as television and radio advertising. If you are concerned with having a high level of tracking on your campaign, new media forms of advertisement will likely work better.


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