Written by 8:24 am Digital Focus

Digital: Just Another Media Channel?

Written by 8:24 am Digital Focus

Digital: Just Another Media Channel?

Recently over the past couple of years I would always hear the same murmurings within the marketing industry, at conferences, indabas and the likes that traditional media channels are dying in the wake of the new super media – Digital. Coming from a global through the line Advertising agency I would always snigger to myself because like every other end of the world prophet, the predicted time of traditional media’s demise would come and go and marketing would carry on regardless, business as usual. Afterwards, we, the custodians of TV, radio and print, basked triumphantly like batman on top of a building during sunset glowing in the fact that our beloved media channels had stood the test of time, yet again, against the dark forces of industry opinion. 

Or had we?

Recently these murmurings are becoming more and more frequent, so I decided to do some digging of my own and came across some startling facts: 

According to a 2019 Consumer Shopping Trends Statistics article, Millennials as they establish households and come into more spending power, spend about $600 billion  just in the United States each year alone. While Gen Z, typically those consumers under the age of 23, have spending power of $44 billion a year. 

93% of Millennials and 98% of Generation Z own smartphones in fact some findings have estimated that there are more phones than people currently in the world. Based on the latest Global Digital Report for 2019 since January 2018, 1 million people a day have started using the internet. This accounts for 4.39 billion internet users worldwide in 2019 and reveal that more people are accessing the internet prefer mobile devices for doing so. In fact 79% of adults have their smartphones with them 22 hours a day. I don’t know any other marketing medium that literally is attached to a consumer more than digital.  

Houston We Have A Problem.

I had always viewed digital as traditional media channels’ poor cousin and the last in line in terms of budget. Kind of like when young Oliver Twist went up to Mr. Bumble, bowl in hand, to ask for seconds saying, “Please sir can I have some more.”  However my research was painting a hair-raisingly different picture.

These 2 generations (Millennials and Gen Z) live, breathe and consume digital. They research products, services and travel destinations  on-line so much so that if they don’t purchase online they just walk in-store with their minds already made up. ”No thanks I don’t need help”. They tend to gravitate towards testimonials by their peers and influencer marketing. Even worse Gen Z does not trust advertising in general anymore. They will identify rather with an influencer they like with similar values and interests, motivating them to make a purchase. Sixty-one percent of millennials trust a friend’s endorsement the most, followed by their own experience with a brand (51 percent) and website reviews (48 percent). So brands communications must be authentic and trustworthy. Channels that showcase videos and images such as Instagram. Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest foster the most brand trust and help young adults discover products they would actually use.

Market Where Your Market Is

I would never be so bold as to assume I could end the age old debate about traditional media versus digital with a definitive answer, that greater minds than myself could not. I personally still believe tradition media has it’s place, however digital is definately not just another media channel for advertisers and is quickly evolving into a different communictions platfrom altogether. As marketers and advertisers we need to make sure our marketing media channels are present where our target consumers are. We need to firstly know, evolve and keep up with our target audience or be left behind in the attic with all the other marketing relics that are no longer socially relevant.


1.Pew Research September 2019 Article: ”Millennials stand out for their technology use, but older generations also embrace digital life.”

2.Business 2 Community July 2019 Article: “Consumer Shopping Trends and Statistics by the Generation:”

3.Leftronic Article: “29+ Smartphone Usage Statistics: Around the World in 2020”

Tags: , , , Last modified: March 23, 2020