Guest Post: Confused in Choosing Digital or Traditional Marketing? Consider a Mix of Strategies

By Christopher Austin

There’s a continuous debate in the world of marketing as many people – business professionals and amateurs alike – can’t decide between digital and traditional marketing. Some claim that the future of advertising is in the digital world. Others still abide by old-fashioned techniques because they strongly believe that offline marketing works best. It’s natural to get confused. Whether we like it or not, both strategies are efficient. But in order to stand out and make an impression on prospects, you need to adopt a seamless tactic, better known as a hybrid.

Why Traditional Marketing Still Works

Traditional marketing is not dead. Despite what many people believe, our customers need tangible products and face-to-face conversations in order to have faith that a certain product or service is worth considering. Even though we live in a digitalized world where everyone has access to the internet and social media, TV commercials, billboards, brochures, and direct mail campaigns still work. Sadly, they no longer work alone. Every ad we see on a poster or commercial we watch on TV has a website, a Facebook page, a well-crafted online presence, and a target audience. Traditional marketing can no longer operate as a standalone business because the population is hungry for information.

Seeing an ad with a fancy car and a logo is not compelling enough. As soon as they see that, they go online to find out more. Twenty years ago they would call the number listed on the ad. Now they go to the company’s Facebook page for more details.

An Evolved Digital Marketing Industry

It’s not a surprise that the world of digital marketing is evolving. As long as advanced technology moves forward, digital marketing will adapt. Social media, company websites, YouTube videos, banner ads, and blogs are gaining momentum. To some degree, digital marketing is very similar to inbound marketing. The goal of a campaign is to make people find your business. If they can’t find it, then you’re doing something wrong.

Digital marketing goes hand-in-hand with advanced technologies. Right now, people can get access to the web from all kinds of devices, not just laptops and computers. In fact, The Economist predicts that by 2020, 80% of adults will own a smartphone and use it to surf the internet, check email, and access social media.

Photo by kuldeep2k, via Flickr

Is Digital Marketing Better Than Traditional Marketing?

Traditional marketing has been around for ages. We’re used to this form of advertising and just because technology has taken over, it doesn’t mean we can’t appreciate a compelling billboard. But then again, why have we stopped reading newspapers? Let’s face it: very few people buy newspapers today to check the ad section and buy something like a blender, for example. It’s a lot more convenient to check the web for a certain product, read reviews about it, maybe even a video, and then decide whether or not it’s worth buying.

Another core disadvantage of traditional marketing is lack of tools to measure results. Online, we have analytics tools that help marketers define their audience and repurpose their campaigns. Furthermore, thanks to social media, companies can interact with customers; assess feedback, and work to improve glitches.

Is There a Way to Use Both Digital and Traditional Marketing to Craft a Compelling Campaign?

Absolutely! In fact, marketers are more than recommended to use both. We love technology and all of its perks, but we still need direct mailing offline approaches to get closer to our audience. When implemented correctly, traditional marketing and digital marketing can work hand-in-hand. Modern day marketers are well aware that these two must be mixed for a killer campaign. Even the savviest, most tech-loving people can still get excited when receiving direct mail letters in their inbox with promos and discounts from their favorite store.

Bottom line is, we can’t really choose a side. And we shouldn’t either. Customers and prospects need to get their hands on your product before buying it. They need to test it, and this can only be achieved with traditional marketing. With digital marketing, we can spread the word, segment our audience, and fix mistakes. Together, these two techniques will significantly boost ROI and help your company thrive.

Christopher Austin is a freelance writer.

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