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The argument over whether digital or traditional media is best has been raging on for decades.

However, while one may be better for your brand, many companies are harnessing both as they’ve come to realise that a mixture of the two is key to creating a killer marketing strategy. Below, we take a look at why these two marketing methods should be used together. 

What is traditional marketing?

Before diving into why these two methods of marketing work together and not against one another, let’s just refresh ourselves with what each one is.

Traditional marketing tends to exist in the real world, not online, and contains the following types of advertising and marketing methods:

  • Print ads (magazine and newspaper)
  • Radio ads
  • Television ads
  • Brochures
  • Billboards
  • Flyers
  • Business cards
  • Direct
  • Direct mail

Hands flicking through brochures

Meanwhile, digital marketing is all online, consisting of:

  • SEO
  • PPC
  • Email marketing
  • Social media marketing (organic and paid)
  • Content marketing
  • Online advertising

However, as technology has evolved, we have seen the two collide in certain ways, such as interactive billboards, showing us just how these two worlds are already colliding for the better.

Pros of traditional and digital marketing

While some 60% of marketing tends to be digital nowadays, you should never overlook traditional, as both come with their positives. These include: 

Traditional Marketing pros:

  • Reach local targets easier
  • Hard copies can be kept
  • Easy to understand

Digital Marketing Pros: 

  • Brand recognition
  • Better reach and targeting of the ideal customer
  • Get customers at the start of their journey
  • You can make changes in real-time
  • High visibility
  • High return on investment
  • Cost-effective
  • Measurable 

People sat around a busy table

However, while it may seem there are more pros here for digital, research of more than 100,000 people found that 68% of respondents didn’t knowingly pay attention to online ads, while 69% of respondents found it important to switch off from the digital world. 

With these people either not looking or not going online, those focusing all their attention on digital campaigns are losing out on a potentially massive audience. This is why it’s important to combine the two, ensuring you’re reaching as wide an audience as possible.

How traditional and digital marketing work together

As you can see, sticking to one method can be hugely detrimental, and the two can work together in an integrated way. This can be beneficial as you can help your customer on the sales journey, bringing them offline to your online offering to create conversions, and vice versa if you want them to come to a physical place.

Using these multiple methods is often referred to as Multi-Channel Marketing, which sees a mixture of marketing methods to ensure you reach as many potential customers as possible.

The use of multiple channels, or traditional and digital marketing, makes it easier for customers to complete conversions and allows them to reach you in a way that best suits them, which could be via post, social media or something else.

And the results? Customers using multiple channels spend up to four times more than those on a single channel.

With integrated strategies easier to produce now than ever before, ensuring you reach customers wherever they are couldn’t be easier, you just have to ensure you aren’t putting all your eggs into one marketing basket.

Hand pointing at screen

So, let’s take a look at some of the benefits:

  1. Attention: without question, having your finger in many pies will enable you to reach more customers, which can also help to increase awareness via other channels.
  1. More data: more avenues will allow you to gather more data on those purchasing your product or service, allowing you to understand them better and create even better campaigns further down the line.
  1. Choice creates conversions: because you’re providing multiple avenues, allowing your customer to use the journey best suited to them, your chances for conversion will be increased.

Pepsi vs Coca-Cola

If you want to see just how effective using both traditional and digital media is, you only have to look at one of the biggest rivalries in brand history: Pepsi v Coca-Cola.

So, what happened?

As digital boomed, Pepsi opted to remove all traditional marketing efforts and go digital-only. This included pulling their Super Bowl adverts, which they’d been doing for over 20 years at this point.

However, within months, a huge portion of the brand’s audience was no longer targeted and sales dropped. Slowly, Pepsi began to reintroduce its traditional marketing methods.

Meanwhile, Coca-Cola went down the opposite route and combined the two with the ‘Share a Coke’ campaign.

Using digital and traditional marketing, the brand utilised TV, billboard, magazines, digital and an all-important hashtag alongside their personalised bottles.

The results were huge. Social engagement alone saw 998m Twitter impressions and 235,000 tweets containing the hashtag, ‘Share a Coke’. And you’d be hard-pressed to find someone who hasn’t heard of the campaign.

As you can see, despite us living in a digital world, traditional marketing is just as important, but when you combine the two, marketing magic can happen.

If you’d like to find out how you can use a blend of marketing methods to better help your business, get in touch with the team at Relative today.

Adam Waring profile picture

About the author

Adam has been involved in digital marketing for over 10 years and developed the love of all things marketing after running his own company selling baby goods. He used to be in a band, and after a gig in Ibiza, gave Groove Armada a lift back to the airport. He is SEO & Content Strategist, so he is responsible for integrating digital marketing channels in terms of SEO, driving website traffic and increasing return on investment.

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