Worth Repeating: You Need A Smart Media Mix. And Maybe A New iPhone.

As the calendar creeps closer and closer to 2014 and all things digital continue to dominate and devour the average consumer’s lives, it can be easy to dismiss more “traditional” forms of media from your advertising and marketing mix.

But a recent report from the Standard Media Index confirms what we here at Amplitude Digital are always quick to advise our clients on:

Do so at your own peril.

Yes, we are living in final quarter of 2013. And yes, Apple just sold 9 million new iPhones during its first weekend on the market. And yes, the state-of-the-art, top-of-the-line iPhone 5C employs fingerprint-scanning, Touch-ID technology to lock and unlock the device.

Of course, a phone is still a phone. And every now and then, some of those 9 million brand-new iPhone users actually use their phone for a more traditional purpose – making and receiving phone calls. Quite a few of them, likely.

In all endeavors, areas and eras of excellence, balance has always been a staple of the recipe for smart success. And it’s no different when it comes to your smartphone usage. Or your advertising and marketing media mix.

Which brings us back to that Standard Media Index information.

Of course, Standard Media Index research doesn’t reveal or illuminate every last penny spent on media in the United States today. But it does come from top-tier media agencies including VivaKi, Mediabrands, Aegis Media and Havas Media – which combined represent around 60% of total U.S. media agency spend.

As MediaPost reported on via their MediaDailyNews blog earlier this week, the newest data from Standard Media Index revealed that U.S. media spending for the whole of 2013 remained up 7% over last year, despite a rather ho-hum August (last August featured the 2012 Summer Olympics, so it’s to be expected).

And when you look at all the pieces to the modern media spending pie – both throughout the year and in August alone – the picture that emerges is one of fascinating diversity. There is clearly a media mix cooking today. And it is clearly composed of both traditional and cutting-edge ingredients.

Of course, digital media does continue to carry the standard, and it shot up 16% in August, giving it a 21% gain over 2012 figures in year-to-date results.

Another report this week, this one from eMarketer and Starcom MediaVest Group, claimed that digital advertising will account for 22.7% of all worldwide ad investments this year (or around $117.6 billion) – up 13% from 2012 totals. And in 2014, digital ads will account for an estimated 24.4% of all global ad dollars spent, according to The Global Media Intelligence Report.

As we’ve often opined before in this blog, digital media is clearly a must-have for any smart marketer today. And viable mobile marketing is an increasingly important part of the digital marketing equation, as the 21% gain in spending there this year further demonstrates.

But it’s important to remember another thing we’ve often said here – digital marketing and advertising alone is simply not enough if your brand truly wants to succeed in 2013. Yes, 24.4% (and rising) is a lot of the global advertising pie. But, as even the most basic math minor could tell you, that’s still not even a quarter of the whole pie.

The data from Standard Media Index shows that many marketers today “get” this, as television continues to command the largest share of media dollars in 2013, at a robust 59.6%. And that figure dwarfs digital media, which ranks second year-to-date at 24.7% of media spend. Yes, it’s safe to say that television still rules the nation. At least when it comes to advertising.

And television isn’t the only “traditional” form of media to continue to command a healthy investment from marketers in late 2013. Magazines come in fourth year-to-date with 5.5% of the media spending pie, and have seen a 15% gain in spending to date this year, including a 10% surge in August. And while it lost some ground in August, radio is just behind magazines in overall 2013 spending, constituting 4.5% of the overall media spend. Of course, magazines and radio alike now also feature a robust online presence, which has certainly helped their cause in an era where consumers spend more and more time with digital media and connected devices.

Sadly, newspapers continue to fail and flail while other tried and true mediums like television and radio (now with over 242 million listeners each week) still hold their own in our on-the-go, iPhone-obsessed society. The printed paper has accounted for just 1.5% of the overall media spend year-to-date, ranking it behind even the likes of local cable TV (1.9%) in 2013 America’s media mix. An ardent environmentalist might rejoice at this tree-saving news (which they’re not likely to learn first via newspaper), but many of us in the media business still hold a special place in our heart for the history and tradition of print journalism in America – and well beyond, back to, say, Rome circa 59 B.C. Now THAT is some serious history, folks.

Of course, if you want to help ensure a long and distinguished history for your brand or business – and avoid extinction anytime soon – you’ll wisely assemble an advertising and marketing media mix that pays homage to the Old School Media that is still moving the needle and pushing product…while also looking to the powerful present and bright future of New Media to help grow and evangelize your brand.

When you’re ready to look closer at just what all of this entails for you and your business, drop us a line. If you have a brand-new iPhone (or any other smartphone), there’s many ways you can reach us. You can hit us up with a Tweet via Twitter. You can connect with and like us on Facebook. Or you can go Old School…and use your Space Age Phone to call us here at Amplitude Digital.

And if you are one of the 9 million and counting about to enjoy all the bells and whistles of your brand new iPhone, feel free to tell us what you like and don’t like about it in the comments section below this blog. Oh and beware of those Crafty German iPhone Hackers.

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