The Most Powerful Marketing Channel Right Now is…

More than 80% of Australians are active on at least one social media platform, and we spend one in every three of those minutes online using them.

The surge in digital and social usage over the past two years is hardly surprising, with many of us stuck at home in endless lockdowns, consumers have been streaming, scrolling and online shopping.

This change in consumer behaviour has resulted in a shift away from traditional, time-bound media campaigns. Last year traditional advertising channels saw huge declines in spend (up to 25%), while investment in social and digital advertising increased.

In fact, Australian businesses are now diverting more than two-thirds of their total ad budgets to digital ad buy, one of the highest allocations in the world.

And digital spend is forecast to grow by 9% in 2021

In uncertain times, one thing is sure: Australia’s love affair with digital will continue beyond the pandemic.

And while digital is the undisputed winner when it comes to ad spend and consumption, is it actually the most effective marketing channel?

The rise of social media, boom in ecommerce and internet of things means that digital has become a core part of consumers’ purchase journey, but it’s not the only part.

It’s worth considering that although we spend about 40% of our waking time online, that still means we spend 60% not online.

What do brands like Google, Uber Eats, Spotify and Netflix have in common?

Despite being technology giants, with access to some of the largest digital audiences in the world through their own online platform, they have built their brands offline through traditional channels, as well as in the digital environment.

Consider that Google spends almost half its advertising budget on traditional media. If this seems counterintuitive, it’s worth noting that TV, billboards and cinema advertising outstrip digital and social channels when it comes to brand building. Highly visual, these channels tap into moments when people are engaged or alert and are consumed as part of a customer’s daily life.

The takeout message here is that in the battle between digital versus traditional the best marketing channel for most businesses is BOTH, or as we like to say an omni-channel strategy.


Brand Uplift Effect

Source: Analytics Partners 2019

So, what is omni-channel?

Omni-channel marketing is the integration and cooperation of all-powerful digital and social channels, combined with targeted traditional media like radio, outdoor, print and TV.

Merging the simplicity and effectiveness of traditional tactics with the instant ROI of digital channels, omni-channel approaches also allows brands to optimise for different objectives. For example, different channels will be better suited for product launch versus brand building versus direct call to action.

The multiplicity of platforms and channels in an omni approach also creates greater stickiness with customers and means that a carefully planned investment in one channel, can set the foundations for other channels to perform better. A virtuous marketing circle of sorts.

Planning for an omni-channel approach.

When planning an omni-channel campaign, there are two key steps:

Media Placement 

First, as you consider your media channels, think about where your consumers are. Offline or online? What do they listen to? Where do they work? How do they get there?

Next, think about the path to purchase: where can customers access your product? In a bar? In a store? Or online?

Armed with this information, a plan for the optimal media mix and placements for your audience and objectives can confidently be devised – within the limitations of your budget.

Next up, creative

The value of an impactful, engaging and shareable creative cannot be understated.

The hope is of course that consumers will do (some) of the work by sharing and amplifying your creative, but brands can also proactively seed creative across platforms when using an omni-channel approach, resulting in significantly better outcomes for their campaigns.

Read more about the omni-channel media solution we devised for Thirsty Camel bottleshops that saw their summer trading period finish up by three times the market average.

Multi-platform Results

SOURCE: Analytic Partners -ROI Genome Marketing Intelligence Report 2016 Analysis based on over 3,200 campaigns from 2010-2015; Platforms include TV, Print, Radio, Display, Paid Search, Online Video, PR, Out-of-Home and Cinema

Myth-busting time – Omni-channel campaigns cost more.


With intelligent planning and careful management, omni-channel campaigns need not cost more than a single tactic campaign and are likely to deliver much higher ROI, particularly where the budget is constrained.

Imagine you are an artisanal gin distillery: social media advertising and targeting gin drinkers will be a no-brainer, but you can make the budget work much harder by geotargeting the postcode where stockists are located to optimise the ad budget.

Next, splash out on some tactical street furniture advertising or keep it super low cost with experiential water stencils close to, or on route to the stores, and all of a sudden, you’ve got an integrated omnichannel campaign for a bargain investment.


The possibilities are endless.

As consumer attention and purchasing behaviours fragment across channels and devices, it makes sense to allow customers to interact with brands on their own terms, at every stage of the customer lifecycle.

In 2021 and beyond, omni-channel approaches will win out over single tactic campaigns because they can be used to create a consistent, positive brand experience at any budget.

Need help to set up and test your own omni-channel marketing campaign? Reach out, we’d love to help.


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