Digital is by far the most dominating marketing channel, both in terms of marketing spend, and by the fact that it’s impossible to have a conversation today with a Marketing Director that doesn’t address digital strategies and tactics.

Whilst digital marketing is definitely the preferred option amongst marketers, it doesn’t need to be to the detriment of traditional channels. They are still an effective way to grab attention and motivate action amongst target audiences.

We don’t just live in the digital world, and we don’t just live in the real world. Today we live in both. Therefore with the ever present marketing ‘noise’ vying for our loyalty and the £ in our pocket, it is becoming ever more important to differentiate your brand to consumers across all channels. Integrate both digital and traditional channels together for the most effective marketing strategy.

The debate has moved on

The debate has shifted to how digital and traditional channels can work together; it’s not about one vs. the other, or one instead of the other.

Reaching a broad consumer audience can be effectively carried out by using traditional channels such as advertising on TV, press, outdoor etc… nothing new there!

However, where once this journey would end, now digital marketing can be used to create a relationship with the consumer that has depth and relevancy. By integrating digital and traditional marketing channels marketers can join up the customer journey. For example, use wider reach traditional marketing channels to generate broad awareness and drive consumers to the digital experience. Equally, those consumers starting the journey at the digital stage first will still be affected by traditional, even if it’s only a reminder or call to action to go back to the digital space!

Make it personal

Digital channels give us ever increasing amounts of information about consumers. This means it’s possible to make the conversation a specific, relevant, personalised one. An obvious example of this is the fact Facebook allows marketers to target consumers based on the information they have shared. If you want to target people who are students at college or university you can do just that.

Traditional marketing is also a very effective way to target consumers based on information like age or location, as well as lifestyle and interests. However, marketers can take this a stage further with digital. You can instantly customise the message and experience in real time.

When a consumer is driven (by traditional channels perhaps!) to a landing page for a digital marketing campaign or promotion, marketers can use registration information to dynamically make the experience even more relevant for the consumer. For example, if you accept that the most important attribute a consumer going to university takes into account when buying a computer is speed and storage space, you have the ability to deliver a personalised message that is more likely to resonate than with a parent who is likely mostly concerned about price.

Extending the conversation

Have you noticed how more and more TV ads now deliver a call to action to the consumer that leads to more active engagement on that particular brand’s digital channels? The same is true of decent press/outdoor adverts. TV ads now, instead of just pasting a website address in the bottom right corner, actually say, visit our Facebook page, or visit us at www…

This traditionally passive experience of viewing a television advert or flipping past a magazine ad can now be very well integrated with digital channels by delivering a specific call to action.
Brands can extend the value of that advertisement and get a broader return on their investment. Once that consumer engages online, marketers can provide additional details about the product in the ad, invite them to opt-in for future communication, or offer a digital coupon or promotion in order to encourage the type of active engagement that digital channels have to offer.

Traditional and digital marketing integrate well

Digital is today a very cost effective way to drive marketing results. However it shouldn’t always be to the detriment of traditional channels. Consumers live in the real world in the main, and spend an ever-increasing amount of time online, so it’s not traditional vs. digital, its traditional AND digital.