The rise in usage and popularity of digital channels amongst customers – especially since Covid-19 – has meant that many companies have reduced budgets to traditional marketing in favor of the online route.
But is this the right move for B2C and B2B marketing in an increasingly competitive space with so much online ‘noise’? Is relying on digital channels the best way to engage with customers in a way that builds trust and is meaningful?
In this blog, we’ll explore those questions and see if the answer lies in a convergence between digital and traditional marketing rather than a siloed approach. Read on to find out more!
Digital vs. traditional marketing: What’s the difference?
To understand both forms of marketing, it’s important to look at not only the channels but the interaction and performance.
|Digital Marketing||Traditional Marketing|
|Examples include email, social media, paid advertising, search engines and websites||Examples include print media, billboards, outdoor advertising, events, radio and TV|
|Experimentation and testing required||Tried and tested|
|Limited to internet users||Provides broad reach and brand awareness in an offline world|
|Direct customer interaction||Face-to-face or limited interaction (depending on the medium)|
|Easy to measure performance and impact||Difficult to measure performance and impact|
|Personalized||Difficult to personalize|
|Easy to change or tweak||Challenging to change or tweak|
|Can work to any budget||Can be expensive|
|High ROI||Difficult to measure ROI|
As you can see, there are many advantages to digital marketing compared to traditional. While the odds may seem stacked in digital marketing’s favor, the story’s not that clean-cut.
Recent evidence cited by Harvard Business Review suggests that a shift is underway as in August 2021 and February 2022, marketers predicted that traditional advertising spending would increase by 1.4% and 2.9%.
Certain traditional channels are still very effective when it comes to influence and marketing. TV is one of those examples. Statista reports that television ranks as the second most profitable advertising channel in the U.S behind the internet and accounts for one-fifth of total U.S. media ad revenue. In 2021, U.S. ad spending on linear television reached $66 billion.
Radio advertising is another channel that can hold its own and ad spending worldwide is projected to reach $30 billion in 2024.
The secret to great marketing is the combination of both digital and traditional marketing and using them in an integrated way to enhance customer experience and leverage the power of all channels.
How can digital and traditional marketing work together?
Customers now interact with your brand in a multitude of ways from reading a magazine to coming across a sponsored ad on Instagram.
The secret to driving success for your brand is to create a seamless online to offline experience from one point to another using an omnichannel approach. What this involves is integrating new channels with traditional assets. Examples include:
- Events and Account-Based Marketing – Your sales team can use in-person events to target key clients (insights garnered from your ABM research and insights). For example, you could target a CMO in a high-profile tech company by attending an event they sponsor and knowing that person is on a panel.
- Mail-outs/brochures and online discounts – Including leaflets in print media or mailing out brochures could include a discount code that drives people online to a custom landing page to claim the offer.
- Outdoor advertising and geotargeting – Billboards and banners are great for brand awareness in specific areas. You can use geotargeting from online platforms such as social media to narrow down the locations of prospects so you can place advertising in that area to drive engagement.
- TV and QR codes – QR codes are a great marketing tool for driving mobile users from traditional ads to online channels. Superbowl LVI for example just used a QR code on its ad to offer people $15 in free bitcoin. This offer was then used on social media to drive engagement. QR codes can also be used in print and outdoor media to drive prospects online.
- Print and website links – Magazines and newspapers are wise to the fact that people search online. That’s why print media include URLs as part of a page or offer to drive readers online. ASOS, for example, has a magazine that profiles products and celebrities and includes each item in a ‘Shop the ASOS magazine’ which drives traffic to a web page.
- In-store and apps – According to Mercator Advisory Group, 52 percent of shoppers used a mobile app to purchase while shopping in-store in 2020. The reason for this was either to find or redeem coupons or find sale items to purchase that could not be located in-store. For retailers, this shows the value of including a mobile experience in any in-store experience to build customer loyalty and drive purchases.
Examples of great traditional and digital marketing
There are lots of great examples of brands being innovative and using all touchpoints in a customer journey to drive engagement. Let’s look at a few of the most innovative.
Using a QR code located on the tongue of a sneaker to launch the new Pulseboost HD range, Adidas drove customers to a Spotify playlist, These playlists contained music based on their current location to drive geotargeting and personalize the experience for the customer.
This partnership with Spotify has been expanded to add QR codes to t-shirts and hoodies while the playlists are also growing.
A luxury brand that’s embracing digital and making it part of their in-store experience is Chanel. A new store launched in New York – Atelier Beauté Chanel – shifts the focus in retail from selling products to cultivating an immersive experience.
On arrival at the store customers put belongings into lockers but keep mobile phones as “the only tool they would need”. Assistants then help customers set up their accounts on the Chanel app to get product information, and application tips and to save favorite products for shopping later.
The time was then spent in-store building a relationship with customers rather than pushing sales. This new approach enables a new in-store experience for customers using digital technologies.
As one of the largest pharma retailers, Walgreens is no stranger to innovation. With a focus on omnichannel, the brand uses a range of channels to engage with its customers.
The launch of its new app – my Walgreens – allows customers to redeem and use coupons in-store, re-order prescriptions, get same-day delivery, 24/7 pharmacy chat and get personalized discounts based on their preferences.
In-store, Walgreens is also looking at ways to engage customers in the store by piloting touch devices that will act as phones, scanners, and point-of-sale tools (just as Apple does in its stores).
In a constantly changing consumer landscape, companies need to use every tool at their disposal to engage and convert prospects. That requires traditional and digital marketing tactics to work side by side to achieve a great customer experience and extend reach.
The key is to work out what channels work best for your business and see if these can be enhanced by combining traditional and marketing tactics and tools. Be creative and see what you can come up with!
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