Marketing has come a long way since the ‘outbound marketing’ of the 1980s – where all our product information was limited to print, magazines, television and radio, while the internet remained exclusive to the US military and educational institutions. When the term ‘digital marketing’ first reared its head in the early 90s, traditional marketing methods still remained in play with additional outlets such as the internet and email. Eventually though, traditional methods became forgotten and today’s contemporary digital marketers are stumped when it comes to the rich and long history of pre-digital marketing knowledge.
So why am I suggesting an integration of traditional and digital marketing? According to retired chairman and CEO of Hoffman/Lewis Advertising: “Marketers overestimate the attraction of new things and underestimate the power of traditional consumer behaviour.” It boils down to something quite obvious – people don’t change so marketing doesn’t either. Therefore, traditional methods should not be overlooked as an effective way to motivate consumer desire.
The question then becomes ‘if traditional methods are still important to marketing, what role does digital marketing play to improve the practice?’ There are a few key factors to consider: Firstly, digital marketing combines traditionally separate marketing and communication functions to better relate to the consumer in a way which is uniquely relevant to their lives. Secondly, the success of a marketing campaign (passive and active engagement) becomes much easier is quantify which informs the cost effectiveness of the marketing strategy. Lastly, digital marketing results is a very high conversion rate. When social media is included in a marketing strategy, consumers tend to convert at a 129% higher rate.
In conclusion, it is impossible to get away from technology but we need to stop the traditional vs. digital debate and shift our focus to an integrated approach. Use digital marketing to boost the information that traditional marketing offers and vice versa.