Small Business Marketing News Update - Take Caution When Traditional Media Hawks Online Services To Bolster Sales

Both broadcast and print media in Northeast Florida are turning to online services, specifically to their websites, to increase revenues and to tap into the ever-growing movement to online marketing.

While it makes sense for media outlets to pursue this new direction, they seem to be in a panic mode when it comes to getting their share of the online pie. First of all, online sales still have a way to go to be an effective marketing medium. There is much refinement that is needed to be able to track ROI for most online businesses (restaurants not withstanding). But secondly, traditional media, particularly broadcast and cable, are still extremely valuable in building brand awareness and driving traffic to websites.

As is the case with most broadcast stations in their pitch of traditional media services, they push their unique reach to various demographics by day part. Now each one is touting their value and their power to reach markets online.

To obtain an objective look at the real power potential of any website, you can go to, a web information company that evaluates businesses worldwide with free web analysis. To take a picture in time of the websites of all of the Northeast Florida television stations, the Florida Times Union and a few Jacksonville radio stations, I researched their sites on Alexa and came up with a “non partisan” ranking of their web traffic. The results show the following rankings by web traffic, with the lower the rank, the better…

U.S. Rank vs. Global Rank
Comcast Cable – 40 vs. 178
Florida Times Union – 3,262 vs. 16,380
WJXT-TV (Channel 4) – 6,966 vs. 39,255
WTLV-TV (Channel 12)/WJXX-TV
(Channel 25) – 9,864 vs. 49,580
WTEV-TV (Channel 47)/WAWS-TV
(Channel 30) – 33,786 vs. 200,293
WOKV Talk Radio – 48,375 vs. 308,004
1010 Sports Talk Radio – 190,338 vs. 348,914
WAPE Radio – 197,626 vs. 1,353,565
CW17-TV – NA vs. 5,153,240

(To understand the above chart, consider’s ranking. It means that there are 3,261 websites in the U.S. that have higher traffic than Also note that the Comcast site is a national site with local sites incorporated that gives it such a high ranking.)

Along with selling banner ads on their individual sites, some media outlets are partnering with national search engines to assist with social marketing. Again, caution should be taken because they too are ranked by their traffic. The three major search engines, ranked by as of January 2012 are as follows…

Based on percentages of searches in the U.S.

Google 65.9%
Bing 15.1%
Yahoo 14.5%

When working with the media today, again, particularly broadcast and cable, almost all of them insist you incorporate web banner ads or an online partnership with your on-air advertising. In some cases they even penalize you by charging higher airtime rates if you don’t incorporate their site banners. And then some will position their online products as a bonus. Depending on whom you are dealing with, and what strength their online capabilities are, buying into a media’s website may or may not be the best use of your ad dollars.
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