With the growth of digital marketing, many people have wondered whether it might push out or make less relevant some of the more traditional marketing methods. However, digital marketing doesn’t replace traditional marketing. The two can work together and, in fact, should work together to create marketing strategies that hit all essential points. When integrating traditional and digital marketing, you need to know when to use each one, how to use each one and how they can interact to give you twice the marketing power. Traditional and digital marketing can be useful at different stages of the engagement and interaction process.
Start with traditional marketing
Traditional marketing is often most useful in the initial interactions between brands and customers. Many smaller companies, particularly new ones, might be drawn to digital marketing first, due to the perception of it being cheaper or offering more ways to engage. However, digital marketing often isn’t as inexpensive as people think, and engaging people using digital methods can be a lot more difficult than many imagine. Traditional marketing methods, which include print marketing, television and radio, can be excellent for getting the attention of customers and encouraging them to find out more about the brand. Traditional marketing methods are often highly visual and engaging, and can be used to direct people to further resources.
Before we continue with this post, if this topic is of particular interest to you I recommend you read ‘Marketing 4.0: Moving from Traditional to Digital, of which I insert a snippet:
“Integrating Traditional and Digital Marketing Digital marketing is not meant to replace traditional marketing. Instead, the two should coexist with interchanging roles across the customer path. In the early stage of interaction between companies and customers, traditional marketing plays a major role in building awareness and interest. As the interaction progresses and customers demand closer relationships with companies, digital marketing rises in importance. The most important role of digital marketing is to drive action and advocacy. Since digital marketing is more accountable than traditional marketing, its focus is to drive results whereas traditional marketing’s focus is on initiating customer interaction.” (See Figure 4.1 below)
Kotler, Philip. Marketing 4.0: Moving from Traditional to Digital (pp. 52-53). Wiley. Kindle Edition.
Traditional marketing initiates, digital marketing drives action
While traditional marketing methods are good for the initial stages of interaction, digital marketing can help to take customer relationships further. Using digital marketing methods, you can start to form a closer relationship with customers. Digital marketing methods, including social media, allow you to engage more with people and encourage them to take action that involves them more in the brand. Traditional marketing methods can lead onto digital methods, taking customers through different stages of the marketing and sales process. Many digital marketing methods are “inbound” methods, offering subtler but more instantaneous ways to draw people in.
Use traditional methods to promote digital platforms
One way to use traditional marketing methods and digital marketing together is to promote digital platforms using traditional media. For example, many brands use adverts on television or even radio, or in print materials, to direct customers to their online presence. For some brands, simply prominently displaying their name might be enough, and customers will do the rest by searching online. However, other brands prefer to display their website URL or perhaps their social media handles. This gives an easy way for customers to continue their engagement and connect more with the brands that take their interest.
Digital marketing needs to form strong connections
Digital marketing presents lots of opportunities to engage with people. However, it’s always important to make sure that digital engagements produce real results. You might watch numbers climb up, relating to advert clicks or social media engagement, but these numbers need to lead to other things too. If they don’t translate into more sales or other tangible benefits for the brand, you could just be wasting time and money. While traditional marketing starts the customer interaction process, digital marketing drives results. Digital marketing can also make it a lot easier to measure results because customer interactions can be traced and relationships managed more easily.
Balance the pros and cons of digital and traditional marketing
Traditional and digital marketing methods work well together because one will often fill in the gaps left by the other. For example, it is often difficult to measure the results produced by traditional marketing methods. However, there are many metrics that can be used to track and measure digital marketing. Digital marketing can sometimes mean that part of a brand’s audience is missed because they are not very online. Traditional marketing only allows for limited ways to target different audiences, whereas digital marketing offers various targeting possibilities, allowing marketers to target by exact demographics.
Recognise word of mouth as a traditional and digital marketing method
Word of mouth has long been a tried and tested way of promoting a brand. But now word of mouth has gone digital and potentially has even more power than before. Word of mouth marketing encourages customers to be advocates and supporters of the brands and products that they love. They make recommendations to friends, family and anyone else that they know. With social media and other digital resources, people are able to reach even more people at once when they want to talk about something they love. And they can reach people they might never have met in real life to tell them in person. This is why many brands have started to try and harness the power of “influencers” on social media, who have a strong following and a readymade audience.
Make events and physical locations digital
Digital marketing can help to keep brick and mortar stores and other physical locations relevant. Engaging online during an event or encouraging online engagement from customers at events and in stores helps to promote your brand in new ways. You can advertise details such as social media handles and hashtags to encourage people to share what they’re doing. Other online features such as live streaming allow you to expand your brand’s reach, showing your online audience what’s happening and what they’re missing. It can even allow for insight into places where customers might not normally go, such as company offices.
Create campaigns incorporating both digital and traditional marketing
When creating marketing campaigns, it’s essential to think of how traditional and digital marketing can work together. Rather than keep them separate and view them as two different entities, they can operate together to form marketing campaigns that stretch across various marketing methods. Everything can interlink, taking a customer from their first viewing of an advert on TV, print ad or any other traditional media to their online interactions and direct contact with the brand, including purchases and engagement with services.
Integrating traditional and digital marketing ensures you make the most of any marketing campaign. The two marketing types work together to attract and engage customers.