Mix your media for best results

This is not a new notion but when you’re buying/using media — use more than one vehicle and when possible, blend how the information is ingested.  In other words, I see/hear your TV spot (or YouTube video), so add in a print element or something online that I can read.  Access more of the audiences’ senses for more impact.

Having a media mix is very old school but it’s as relevant today as it was back in Ogilvy‘s day.  Add that age old wisdom to today’s new truth — 75% of Americans (and I find it hard to believe we’re the only ones) watch TV and surf the web at the same time.

All the more reason to have a media blend in play.

A new study by Nielsen reinforces this idea and reminds us that this impacts recall as well.  (link to Business Insider story) They found that advertising on multiple platforms substantially increases consumers’ ability to remember an ad campaign compared to when the ad is viewed on TV alone.

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Nielsen findings support the idea of having a media blend or mix.

In a media lab study conducted by Nielsen, participants viewed related content across a TV, computer, smartphone and tablet. A 15-second video ad promoting a premium sports sedan was shown to different groups with some people seeing no ads, and others seeing the ad on different combinations of screens.

In the group that was exposed to TV ads alone, 50 percent of people correctly attributed the ad to the correct auto brand. For groups that saw the ad across all screens – TV, computer, smartphone and tablet – the ability to remember the brand jumped dramatically to nearly three-in-four (74%).

What does this mean for you and me?  It means we need to be smart about how we utilize media.  Follow these guidelines to take advantage of these insights:

Mix your media: Be sure you are cross promoting your message by having a URL in your print and broadcast ads.   Share your radio and TV spots on your website.  Use QR codes to drive your mobile audience to unique content designed for the mobile experience.

Use the strengths of each media/human sense to really drive your core messages.

Don’t think it’s all about the money: Keep in mind your Facebook fan page, your website/blog, Twitter, etc. as you build your media plan.  Work on placing trade pub stories (online or in print) and getting others to share your content.

In today’s world — keep in mind that isn’t just about paid media.  This is media you buy (advertising), own (your own sites) and earn (public relations) combined.

Deliver the same core messages on all media: Don’t get cute and have different messages for different media.  The execution may change — but your core message should be consistent across the board.

Remember, you are building impressions so stay 110% consistent.

Interesting isn’t it?  The more newness there is, the more the time tested foundational truths about advertising ring true.

How has all of this new media changed your philosophy?





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13 comments on “Mix your media for best results

  1. Drew,
    That survey was flawed. The results showed that there would be better recall over multiple platforms. But that is only because people saw the same ad multiple times. What if the same person saw the ad only on TV but saw it more often?

    Here’s another thing to consider… It takes a person seeing or hearing a typical ad 3x per week to really remember it. Unless you are already getting that kind of frequency in one medium, don’t spread your spending out over multiple mediums.

    It is also virtually impossible to get the same person to see your same ad over multiple media because we all have such different habits. You can control that better within one medium than across multiple platforms.

    Multiple media marketing is a myth unless you can dominate each medium. Plus, there is some benefit when you do dominate a medium. You become even better known. Ask this question… who is the carpet and flooring company that owns (Insert medium) in your area. There is usually one dominant voice in any category in any medium. Be that dominant voice and you get benefits beyond what you buy.


    1. Phil,

      This is probably a bigger discussion than the comments section can hold. But…dominating only one medium is rarely a good strategy and it’s never good for a B to B company.

      But…dominating a single media and then using a small handful (2-3) as support does make sense.

      Especially thinking about online/offline. I think you need to be in both places today.

      So I think we sort of agree….perhaps just not as vehemently!


      1. Drew,
        We do agree in many ways. But when I hear people saying, “Mix the media for better results,” I am always afraid that those listening will put too much emphasis on getting a good “mix” to reach as many people as possible, and then not have the budget to reach any of them very well.

        Quoting Roy H. Williams, You can convince 100% of the people 10% of the way or 10% of the people 100% of the way. In marketing, both cost the same, but only one gets you results.

        So, yes, I agree that mixing the media gives you the chance to reach a wider audience. But make sure whichever media you choose, you do it well enough to reach those people in that medium well.

        1. Phil,

          I thought I heard Roy Williams sneaking through your comment! ;-} Not only do you need to make sure you do it well, you need to make sure you have enough money to do it long term.


  2. Good point on the media blend, and even aside from the cross platform benefits, using a media blend can really help to tell your “story” more completely and effectively.
    Also in today’s 24/7, no tolerance for interruptions lifestyle, people want to be engaged on their terms, and in the medium they prefer, making the use of a media blend even more important.

    So to me, regardless of the surveys accuracy, the core theory still rings true, and as you mention Drew, is even time tested.

    1. Chris,

      I agree — the mix is even more critical today than it was before. The customers want to control how and when they get our messages.


  3. Thanks for posting this and I wish MILLIONS would read it. I don’t OWN a TV and am adverse to watching anything video because my time is precious. I read 2500 wpm, so I prefer written material and even ONLINE that is starting to become scarce.

  4. These are great points! But it’s also so important for businesses to assess every marketing campaign and method they’ve chosen. Their goal should be to maintain the best types of media channels for their business.

    1. Mae,

      No doubt…analysis is required!


  5. Emily Carter says:

    Great post Drew, I also find that consumers respond to a mix of different media types. As an internet marketing firm, we at Grass Roots Marketing aim to provide an integrated effort to gain new leads. using a variety of mediums, like blogging, social media, PR, and SEO strategy, we are able to reach more people.

    1. Emily,

      I’m curious — do you do offline marketing too?


      1. Emily Carter says:


        We focus mainly on inbound marketing, so our main goal is to drive qualified leads to websites. We aim to provide substantial content and expertise to “get found.” We do that through SEO techniques, social media, blogs, public relations and email marketing. While the focus of our offerings is online, I definitely see the relevance of your post topic to our business too. It’s important to switch it up by providing various tools (videos, blog posts, white papers, social media sharing, etc) to become more accessible.

        1. Emily,

          No doubt…lots of potential media mix online!


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