Traditional Media Still Packs a Punch


In the marketing educational session, “How Old School Is Still Cool,” speakers cautioned retailers not to abandon traditional media when they try to reach and engage today’s consumers.

Pointing out that there is an overwhelming number of social media choices in which a retailer could participate, “old school” methods are still pervasive in the marketplace, according to Ira Glaser, a former marketing executive with The Coca-Cola Co. who now heads up his own consulting firm.

Glaser said retailers need to “embrace the idea that traditional media and social media can play together.”

His main point was that retailers need to more broadly define their market – not just targeting consumers, but also shoppers who currently buy from them, stakeholders, news media and the community. Then, the retailer must orchestrate the company’s messages so they are in harmony. “There shouldn’t be conflicting messages and you need to find the right balance between price/value and branding communications,” Glaser advised.

Krista Long, senior vice president and executive media director for 22 Squared, agreed with Glaser on the need for companies to expand their market definition. “Consumers are consuming media on their own terms, on multiple devices, when and where they want,” she noted.

This new way of thinking about marketing involves a developing clear communication and sales goals, planning around actual consumer behavior and measuring what’s working and what’s not.

She pointed to Wawa Inc., the Pennsylvania-based convenience store chain, as a retailer that understands this new approach. Wawa effectively used social media to promote its milestone of reaching 1 million Facebook “likes,” she noted. In addition, Wawa uses “native” advertising, which she described as using advertising that looks like editorial. She used the example of Wawa paying for and contributing an article to an online consumer website.

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