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What are you learning from social that you are applying to traditional?

Guest post by Chris Beck of 26DotTwo

You allocate increasing amounts of budget, time and resources with social media to connect one on one. What about the other 90% of your budgets? What learnings can be cross-pollinated to increase your impact?

The focus in social is on the 5th P (people); communities, niche groups, and influencers. Traditional media consists of the 4Ps; product, price, promotion, and place. Consider integrating the 5th P into traditional; not just a ‘Follow us on Twitter’ or ‘LIKE us on Facebook,’ but deeper learnings that can create significant impact.

Here are 6 social insights you can and should start applying to traditional…


Chances are your social campaigns are highly geo and contextually targeted. What about your traditional? Does it mirror your segmented user targets? Or is it a commoditized plan reaching broad demographic groups, using essentially the same creative?

Highly targeted ads create much higher consumer connection. You can see this clearly with social. A hyper targeted campaign on Facebook will generate upwards of 0.1% CTR’s with 60+% Fan Click Through Rate (FCTR). A broadly targeted demographic campaign may only generate a 0.2-0.3% CTR and 25-30% FCTR. Thinking the same way about traditional can dramatically increase your impact and ROI.

How are you customizing your outdoor and place based messaging? Do you use wild postings in urban areas and day-parted messaging with digital out-of-home? We do. In fact, we even use different messaging for men’s and women’s locker rooms. Do you have broad demographic targets for your radio and TV, or separate campaigns and music beds for your different segmented groups? The more traditional is customized, the greater your ROI will be.


Is your creative approach focused on the big idea? Or are you using a series of smaller ideas designed to resonate in specific markets and within specific niche groups? Typically the same traditional creative may be running in all markets for several weeks. However, traditional can learn lessons from social’s top creative, where top performing social ads may only perform for 36 to 72 hours before needing to be optimized. In the case of the Facebook Ad Server, it will save you from creative burn out because it will just stop serving your ad. However, your traditional could keep running and running…


Are you listening to conversations and then attempting to tap into them to promote the next deal period or sale? Looking at consumer insights for the 4th of July, it became clear that BBQ recipes and cupcakes were the most searched for items historically. Thus, we integrated these topics of interest into our creative to better join in the conversation and fulfill actual wants and needs.


Most of the media analytics applied to traditional are decades old and primarily mechanisms of commoditizing a buy to broad demographic groups. Effective social campaigns are focused on reach and frequency.

GRPs and IMPs mean nothing in terms of actual reach and frequency; 100 GRPs can be a 50 reach and 2 frequency or a 10 reach with a 10 frequency. They also do nothing to indicate the environment that the message is being showcased in. Are you looking at GRPs and CPPs or reach and frequency with different consumer segments? If not, you could be entirely over-reaching logical frequency levels with one group and entirely under-reaching another.


Think about the amount of time devoted to strategizing your 1 or 2 daily Facebook posts. Think about the analysis of the timing and content of when your tweets are most amplified. Could your traditional use the same analysis to better engage? The first step in the process is an understanding of how the consumer is actually consuming media and what other media is being used simultaneously.

Pandora Web is used mostly in-office and Pandora Mobile is generally used in the car. Won’t your messages engage more effectively if you take advantage of where people are consuming media? That’s why we’re huge advocates of heavy use of day-parting; it engages better. Drive time radio may have slightly higher usage, but much lower consumer attention spans and receptivity. A well produced :05 or :15 might better engage people in drive time, while an engaging :30 is a more effective messaging tool middays and weekends.


Think of crowdsourcing as the focus group of the future; it can offer much deeper information than a series of “controlled” focus groups ever could. It’s the next level of listening, by actually reaching out and having on-going insights on your creative, product mix, line-extensions and promotions. It’s no longer what you or your agency is thinking “back to school” may or may not represent, but what your segmented consumer groups want and will engage with.

Consumer’s media consumption, adoption of new technology and increased reliance on social elements will only continue to explode. Astute marketers will see that this translates into much less value to the “old days” of traditional commoditized media plans, siloed strategies and one size fits all creative. Integrating best practices from social can help your traditional better connect and create higher ROI.

Chris Beck is a 30-year marketing veteran and is the founder and Chief Vision Officer of 26 Dot Two. The company works with leading brands, including Whole Foods Market & Popchips. He can be reached at

Image Credit: Shutterstock

8 COMMENTS ON THIS POST To “What are you learning from social that you are applying to traditional?”

  1. All very good points and insights.  I especially like optimizing creative.  However I would assert that you should do both a large sweeping message, and then tailor what that big idea means to each sub niche.

    IE Volvo’s safety message means different things to different people.  Families see safety as protection against the unexpected, where as a single car enthusiast is more interested in say braking power to avoid accidents.

    It is impossible to communicate all things to all people at once.  But by laying out a single message, and then tailoring how you communicate that message to each sub niche you can achieve the full intended affect of the big creative idea.

    • eyeBrand says:

      Excellent point, Jacoub.  That is the essence of brand building – to consistently communicate your overall brand message.  For Volvo it is about safety (even while their safety ranking on Consumer Reports / JD Power has slipped over the years).  

      No matter how you segment the message (to moms with vans to sports car enthusiasts) being consistent and true will support the brand. 

      Social is a great way to segment the groups based on what is important to them and to engage them differently.  

  2. Anonymous says:

    Great post with some really  good points. Focusing on Listening we can learn much about our target and environment, making meeting-their-needs that much easier.

    We’re all really strong believers in the 5th P in the social media world and could also call refer to is as Personal communication.

  3. Jeremy says:

    I am a college student and majoring in marketing. and hearing about the 5th P being people is an interesting addition to the normal 4 P’s we have had drilled into our studies. as for croudsourcing I’m wondering how you will be able to find these niche focus groups to get information from. and how different will it be than an the present information companies look for in focus groups. 

  4. One thing from social that we can carry over to traditional advertising is the idea of using consumer information (given voluntarily, of course)  to pinpoint the kind of message that can get their attention, as well as the best locations for your ads. Another is brevity; shorter messages like the ones on Twitter are more effective when done correctly. 

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  7. Allison says:

    Creative optimization! Look at what people are asking for and give it to them. This kind of thinking should be obvious to anyone with a marketing background. The trick is getting past the infamous “clutter” that’s clogging up social media today. There are tons of recent college grads patrolling Facebook and Twitter, acting as spies and trying to figure out how to overcome the clutter of every other company. 

    People want to interact with people, not brands. Social media has been changing so much because of this concept… Facebook now has chat and video chat in addition to users being able to post pictures and videos on each other’s walls. To get through the clutter, now brands need to work with several different types of media and sometimes other third party sites just to make an impact. We’ve been experimenting with audio files for influencers to use to get the attention of their followers and direct them to the content with which we’d like them to interact. Apps like Voice for Facebook or Voice for Twitter allow these opinion leaders to actually speak to their followers, which stands out from other posts or statuses that are purely textual. It’s all about balancing what everyone’s doing with what no one’s doing and trying to get attention. Dog eat dog. Thanks for the post! Gave me some things to mull over today.

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