The relationship between traditional and digital media as an influence on generational consumer preference


  • Abyshey Nhedzi, Dr University of Johannesburg, South Africa



Media consumption, Traditional media, Digital media, Social media, Consumer preference, Media planning, Generational preference


Marketers, advertisers and media planners often turn to reliable data on target markets to make decisions regarding the selection and use of media, allowing practitioners to communicate the message optimally and cost-effectively to the target audience. Decisions in media planning and media selection are only possible if information on media use patterns is up-to-date. Hence, understanding media consumers allows marketers to tailor specifically to a target market. This article presents an initial inquiry into preferences between traditional media and digital (online) media. With a better understanding of consumer preference between traditional and digital media platforms, practitioners could significantly improve media allocation. By applying a uses and gratifications approach to the concept of media use, the author conducted a cross- sectional questionnaire survey (n=558). A t-test analysis of the findings indicated a significant difference in time spent on traditional media (m=3.60) over time spent on digital media (m=2.63) (t(555) = 20.73, p < .05). The results revealed differential patterns across different media (traditional and digital); differences are most often based on the demographic variables. The data indicated that statistically significant differences in media consumed are more a function of whether or not people are employed and have completed their studies than age group per se. Accurate audience measurement remains complex due to media consumers’ mobility and wide variety in the media environment. However, the findings can be used as a guideline for media planners and advertising agencies when planning to target an exact audience at the right time on the right platform.


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