Marketing Across the Digital Media Divide

You really can’t market to everyone using one medium or one tactic. And while the new, digital marketing media gets most of the favorable press, that doesn’t mean the old, traditional media doesn’t work, despite premature reports of its demise. So the big question is: How do you market to whom? Or, more appropriately, where do you marketing to whom? Let’s look at some facts.

Photo Credit: ilovemypit


The Media Facts

  • The median age of the broadcast television viewer is now 51. You will frequently see reports that television is dying, really it’s just getting older.
  • Approximately 57% of American adults have a Facebook account. That figure itself is pretty staggering, but it doesn’t tell the entire story.
  • Dive into the numbers a little deeper (as I did) and you will find that 84% of adults under age 50 have a Facebook account. Wow. And according to Facebook, 50% of users log on to Facebook daily.
  • As I looked at the numbers for my local market area, I found that 89% of Facebook users are under the age of 50.

My friends, that is a digital divide.

The Digital Marketing Divide

There is a digital media divide in the U.S. and it seems to be right at age 50. Consumers under age 50 are more likely to use the new, digital media while over age 50 are much more likely to be traditional media users. So what’s a marketer to do?

Some people want to ignore the 50+ crowd by ignoring the traditional media, but that’s not smart. After all, Americans over the age of 50 comprise 41% of the adult population, and tend to have higher levels of disposable income. Far from being ignored, they should be embraced.

What you need is a marketing strategy that straddles the fence, or more accurately, straddles the divide. That strategy is a mix of traditional and new media that reaches across the digital divide, and invites all consumers into your business.

Of course, certain products and services aren’t mass appeal. If you sell class rings, you probably want to stay on the new side of the divide. But mass appeal businesses need a straddle strategy: car dealers, beauty salons, car washes, donut shops. Don’t ignore television, radio, newspapers, and magazines on the traditional side of the divide. Don’t ignore Facebook, websites, and location-based services on the new side of the divide.

If your audience is broad, straddle the divide. Are you just standing on one side?

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