There isn't one, concrete answer when it comes to the right mix of digital and traditional marketing. It's incredibly dependent on the client, the intended outcome, the budget, and the target audience. We take all of these factors into account when it comes to planning a marketing strategy.
While those who work in media have been long lamenting "the death of print," there is still a need for print marketing in a variety of forms. You might attract a customer digitally, but leave a larger impression on them when they get your beautifully designed print materials in their hands. While digital marketing is all the hype right now (and, admittedly, our specialty) there is still a place for print marketing. What is that place exactly? The answer is: it depends.
Here are some things you should consider when developing your strategy to find the right balance of traditional and digital marketing for you.
Your target audience will determine your marketing choices
In order to reach your customer effectively, you need to know who you're talking to. Obviously, if you're trying to reach the baby boomers or the "silent generation" you might skew more traditional with your media buying and your deliverables. This group is much more receptive to direct messaging and traditional communication. That said, Facebook is becoming more and more popular for these age groups, and digital media is likely to become a growing part of their lives. If you're looking to reach the Gen X-ers you can probably hit a good mix of traditional and digital marketing. Emails, blogs, and Pinterest are a great way to reach the GenX-ers as well. When looking at the Gen Y-ers and younger, go digital all the way with an emphasis on Snapchat, Instagram and TikTok.
Know your market
Advertising markets differ from town to town. In some towns, you can get a huge bang for your buck when doing traditional radio advertising. In others, we get a lot more engagement with targeted social media campaigns. You may find that in certain areas, a particular social media platform just isn't that popular. When it comes to television, This is why it's so important to understand your market — you might learn some things that surprise you. It's really about getting your boots on the ground, learning the nuances of your audience, and figuring out where they are.
Within digital media, it's good to know what kind of customers are frequenting each social media platform or consuming different types of media. For general social media use statistics, the Pew Research Center is a great place to start.
Because the evolution of digital media is moving so rapidly, it's important to keep up. Even within the last year, more and more people have increased their participation in digital media and social media platforms. Television streaming has surged, and older generations are becoming increasingly engaged in most forms of social media. The demographics we can normally rely on to prefer print media are changing by the day. New places to advertise products and services are becoming available, as well. Stay up-to-date on what your audience doing or your marketing may become irrelevant.
Try Out a Strategy and Change it
There are many different approaches to a marketing campaign, and we can't always say for certain what will give us the most return. Trial and error is an inevitable part of the process.
Unfortunately, the success of traditional advertising can be pretty hard to measure. Did your direct mail advertisement get thrown in the trash or prompt the person to visit your storefront? You may never know. One way to get around this is to include a discount code on your print advertising or ask people to visit a landing page on your website for more information. This gives you more information on how traditional advertising is being received.
With digital marketing, you can easily monitor email opens and click-through rates, social media engagement and website analytics to see what kind of messages and imagery are getting the most response. Then we take what's working and keep doing it.
Seems simple enough, right? The one thing we always do is build flexibility into our strategies. If one approach isn't working, we need the freedom to pivot and put our budget toward something else.
So, what's the moral of this story? There is no right answer. You will try things that work and don't work. Determine your goals, do your research, and figure out what your target market responds to. Don't eliminate traditional marketing altogether. Even in this digital world, sometimes traditional marketing just works.
If you found this blog helpful, check out these other related topics:
- How Traditional Marketing is Feeding Your Digital Strategy
- Physical vs. Digital: Lessons Learned from COVID-19 and Banking
- How COVID-19 Will Affect Your Digital Marketing in 2021