February 10, 2021

Tracking Traditional Media Untraditionally

Tracking digital media is often more straightforward than traditional media. Digital data can more quickly be pulled from the specific platform or into a database, often in real time. But traditional media is still alive and plays an important role in a media mix. Traditional media can still be essential for conveying brand messaging, as it is instantly recognizable and holds a certain level of creditability, having been established for decades. Tracking it effectively, however, is anything but straightforward—and is constantly evolving.

At Butler/Till, when we reference, “traditional media,” we are referring to a variety of tactics such as: Print, Direct Response Television, and Outdoor. In the broadest sense, performance tracking most often looks for calls to a toll-free number included in the media. The most complex, but crucial element is how to get two separate data sets to communicate with one another. The first data set we use is a document with a list of all the media that is running, including planned impressions, spend, and all the associated toll-free numbers. The second data set we use is from the call center, showing us the calls that we can match back to the media that was running. Creating synergy between these two data sets is key, allowing us to better understand the media performance and how to optimize throughout the campaign.

Sample data:

Call center data:

With the ability to track digital media in a more efficient manner than traditional media, one may ask, why still use traditional media? The answer lies in where the consumer is in the sales funnel. Traditional media is extremely effective at building consumer awareness of a brand. And while Americans’ overall media consumption is on the rise, these tactics are remaining a trusted source of information—something very critical during a pandemic. However, integration is key. Digital media provides the opportunities for more direct and granular segmentation, with the ability for a brand to become more targeted.

The combination of these different forms of media are what amplifies our clients and their products and solutions. While the value of digital media is undeniable; the benefits of traditional media should not be overlooked, which only means we must continue innovating ways to track it more effectively.

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