Traditional marketing.

Author:Brown, Rachel
 
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logging, tweeting, yammering, yelping. These may be some of the buzz words associated with social media, but some of us "older" folks (defined as anyone over 30) can't help but think they sound like the unfortunate symptoms of a nervous condition.

Social media--particularly when it comes to marketing and advertising--seems to get all the hype and attention. And while it's a growing phenomenon that certainly has its merits, it still represents only a relatively small part of most marketing budgets.

According to a joint survey by the business school of Duke University and the American Management Association, social media marketing accounted for only about 6.6% of marketing budgets in 2013. The survey forecasted this percentage to grow to 9.1% this year and to 15.8% within five years.

These numbers are not insignificant, but they boil down to the fact that traditional marketing (which spans everything from television commercials, radio spots, billboard ads, direct mailings and bill inserts to

events, door hangers, cold calling and more) still represents the lion's share of the marketing budgets and efforts. By these tallies, traditional marketing will get more than 90% of the budget this year and. will account for nearly 85% in 2018.

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Talk to the marketing folks at small telephone companies and they'll tell you that this does not surprise them because they know that traditional marketing has its place and its power.

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Customers With Kids

Missy Poje--director of marketing for Fidelity Communications Co. (Sullivan, Mo.)--is proud that her company's complete marketing campaign won an NTCA-The Rural Broadband Association TeleChoice Award last year, but she said she's more proud of her marketing team and the results they achieve.

"We use both traditional and online media," Poje explained.-Traditional includes TV spots, billboards, direct mail; online media is our search engines, Facebook, Insta-gram, Twitter and sign-ups on our website. It's very integrated."

Poje said Fidelity most sees the value of its traditional marketing when it comes to reaching its more established customers. "We serve small-town America, and we have a lot of older customers" she said. "The sweet spot for us arc our 35-year-olds to 54-year-olds. That segment generates our highest revenues."

That demographic has more disposable income because they're more established in their lives and their careers. They're also users of advanced telecommunications services, Poje said. "The [baby] boomers are very technologically savvy, and they're willing to spend the most money to get those services," she said.

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Roger Gray--chief executive officer and founder of GKV, an advertising agency--pointed out that customers in the 3554 age group have different telecommunications needs. "They're likely to have kids at home," he said, noting that this alone drives up demand for products and services. "If they've got teenagers, that's more cellphone usc, more Internet, different cable packages."

Even for customers older than 54, there's still a demand for advanced telccommunications services, Gray said. "Today's senior is not the senior of yesteryear," he said. "Today's seniors are much more active, much more engaged in life. This is not an old man sitting on a bench."

Poje agreed that Fidelity's older customers are a busy bunch. "They're watching TV. They're driving past billboards. They're reading the local newspaper," she said, noting that all of these activities play into traditional marketing, including radio spots for times in the car. "You have to have multiple solution.s for multiple customers."

Gray noted that older rural consumers are more...

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