‘Traditional and digital tags should be dropped’

Brands are failing to appreciate the role of mass media in the marketing mix because terms such as ‘digital marketing’ are creating an unhelpful distinction between online channels and established options like TV and outdoor advertising, according to a panel of industry figures.

Industry figures argue that mass media such as TV is misunderstood.

Speaking at a Westminster Media Forum seminar on the UK advertising sector in London today (5 March), Tess Alps, executive chair of television marketing body Thinkbox, said: “It annoys me to hear the internet described as a platform. It’s not a platform, it’s everything. It’s like electricity.”

Alps added that use of the term ‘traditional’ does “not respect the vigour of existing media” such as TV, which is increasingly viewed across mobile devices via the internet.

Earlier this year, research group Forrester predicted that ‘digital marketing’ will become just ‘marketing’ in 2013 as all marketers’ output becomes “inherently digital” over the coming months.

Fellow panel member Steve Hatch, chief executive of media planning agency MEC UK, said advertisers are increasingly finding themselves in a “linguistic cul-de-sac” that restricts their thinking.

He suggested that marketers should move away from traditional distinctions between “paid, owned and earned media” and instead consider the differences between “big and personal media”.

“While Facebook is big in the sense that millions of people use it everyday, the experience that they have on it is actually very personal,” he said. “That’s how it differs to other forms of mass media.”

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