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Why Hometown Traditional Media Will Trend in 2018

By Staff | Apr 19, 2018

by Josh Fleming,

Vice President of Marketing

Bank Iowa, Humboldt, IA

During a recent Advertising Federation panel discussion, a few marketers got on stage to talk about what not to do in 2018. We were examining fading trends and talking through the things we believe unproductive in our big sea of marketing and advertising tools.

One of the questions posed was which advertising tactics were going to be big for our brands in 2018. Two panelists spoke about exciting new trends like virtual reality, digital media and enhanced data analytics certainly trends to keep an eye on. Then, they passed the microphone to me.

In my short time at Bank Iowa, I’ve quickly learned that a community bank has to authentically invest in the local community. My new friend and a long time Bank Iowa regional president, David Boswell, told me when I first came to his branch in Humboldt, “We are only as strong as the communities we serve.”

He couldn’t be more right. And his wisdom led me to the answer I spoke into that mic.

Here’s what I said: The trend I’m looking forward to is the resurgence of traditional media for our brand. While it may not garner the headlines, or have the tech appeal of the other mediums mentioned, the hometown newspaper and other hyper-local media like radio provide great value, while supporting the communities we serve.

The look in the eyes of the crowd indicated I struck a nerve. So I continued: While online media, television and even things like virtual reality and data analytics can be exciting and perhaps even effective, there has never been a value like the one hometown traditional media offers. They are low cost, highly targeted and effective, even in the digital age.

While many brands talk about being relevant and authentic, they typically apply that concept to social media engagement and online interactions. But if a brand truly wants to build its name as a community-focused organization, its leaders must be prepared to buy the local newspaper and radio spots. Consider, too, that these entities are often owned by someone local and always cover the happenings in the community.

As a marketer, I know gimmicks crash and burn. That’s especially true in a small town. While concepts like hologram tellers and drone banking would no doubt grab attention, they are not what our clients need. The best marketing strategies deliver results while staying true to the brand and what you have promised customers. So, take another look at traditional local media. It may be exactly the thing your brand needs.

Josh Fleming is the Vice President of Marketing for Bank Iowa. He can be reached at jfleming@bankiowa.bank.