Which marketing method is better? Digital or traditional? Rather than picking one, we think the strongest advice would be to combine the two. So let’s rephrase the question: should you be combining digital and traditional marketing to make the most of your business? Ahhh, yes! Definitely! If you want to get more eyes on your business, that is…
What’s the difference?
Traditional marketing focuses on offline media such as TV, radio and mediums such as flag printing from Helloprint. Digital marketing on the other hand focuses on web-related efforts, such as email campaigns using services from companies like MailChimp. Both are effective in their own right, but when combined together they form the foundation of a strong marketing campaign.
Can you give me an example?
Imagine you’ve commissioned a TV ad for your business. This is a traditional form of marketing, and will be played on a particular channel at a particular time of day, depending on how much money you have available. What’s not so great about traditional advertising like this is that has a short lifespan. This means that your ad only ‘lives’ for as long as your audience watches it, and for as long as the TV channel agrees to air it. However, what’s great about this form of marketing is that it’s going to reach a really large number of people. You’re going to hit lots of eyeballs, over and over and over again until your ad stops being played.
Now imagine you’ve put together a social media marketing campaign instead. You’ve generated targeted hashtags, profiling and top-quality content. You’ve even timed the launch to coincide with a seasonal holiday, and you know you’re going to benefit from all that extra activity on the subject matter. What’s not so great about this kind of marketing is that it’s hard to measure – who can say what kind of ROI a tweet can generate? And who’s to say that 100,000 passive followers are more valuable 20,000 passionate ones?
But, what is fabulous about digital marketing like this is that it has an unlimited shelf life. No-one’s going to stop airing it. You haven’t signed an end-date contract with a company to promote it. It’s not boxed in to a 20 second window twice a day. Instead, it can be reused as many times as you like, and arguably grows in value as your networks acquire likes, followers, fans and subscribers.
What’s the lesson?
The moral of the story is that both methods have their strengths and weaknesses, but there’s potential for harnessing the best bits of both. Why not commission a radio ad that drives traffic to your Facebook page (throwing a sneaky twitter hashtag while you’re at it)? Or, if you’re particularly creative, why not drive your customers from a digital space to a traditional method of advertising? For instance, you could challenge them to submit photographs of them with your product using a digital tag on Instagram, the best of which to be chosen for inclusion in your printed brochure. As you can see, combining the best bits of digital and traditional marketing is the way to make the most of your business.