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Thinking about investing in traditional media advertising for your business this year? Before you do, you may want to consider the continuing trend towards online marketing.

As reported in The Business Review, total advertising spending predicted for next year falls below the pre-recession level back in 2007. But this is a bit misleading: Those poor spending levels are a reflection on traditional advertising media—such as radio and television stations and newspapers—which are not likely to see growth in 2012 beyond two to three percent. But it’s not the same for online marketing.

Businesses are shifting their advertising dollars from traditional to online. As the same article suggests, online and mobile are the bright spots. The meager growth forecasted for traditional media will likely be due to the upcoming national and local elections as well as the Olympic games.

This may leave some businesses in the Capital Region confused about how to spend their marketing dollars: How do they know where to go and how much to spend? How do they know if it’s working?

The tactics that are proving to work for businesses can be found online—encompassing website and search engine optimization, mobile, email, social media, etc. Online tactics are measurable and can be changed “on the fly” in a way that traditional media can’t. Web marketing can be tested and optimized to create higher returns on investment.

Does this mean traditional media has no use? Certainly not; there is still a place for traditional media. Increasingly it’s being used to send traffic online. Remember, over 70% of purchases are researched online first. So advertisers use TV, radio, print, billboards etc. to send visitors to the website and Facebook pages. In short, a company needs a marketing plan with specific, measurable goals with a marketing plan that integrates online, traditional and other tactics. And always paired with a way of tracking and measuring these results.

Here at Burst Marketing we put clients in control of their goals. We’ll find the most cost-efficient ways to reach their audiences. And always track and measure the results.