It is the nature of the market to pose new challenges every now and then. Disruptive technologies and practices challenge software developers, industrial transformations challenge the workers, and complex human issues like the pandemic challenge corporate management and business leaders.
A similar challenge today confronts marketing experts and brand owners around the world. The marketing profession has continuously been gaining more nuanced insights about its customers. However, in the pandemic’s grips, it is now hustling to find new ways to connect with them. Over the last few months, consumer behavior has taken a drastic turn. Working from home, the consumer is spending her day in front of laptops and mobile screens. The need for more knowledge, better healthcare, more convenient shopping, and engaging entertainment are causing significant changes in priorities. People are focusing on essential purchases. Studies suggest that almost 75% of consumers have shifted to mobile shopping. Another study indicates that more than 60% of consumers are worried about their health and job security and that fear drives their choices.
Marketing strategies, both online as well as offline, will have to align with these new changes. Both digital and traditional marketing experts will have to brainstorm to bring the best of both worlds together to connect with the maximum number of customers and improve the visibility of their brand.
As a matter of fact, this isn’t something unconventional. The two marketing paradigms have a common core – i.e., consumer engagement. The media is the only variable between the approaches. However, working together in synergy, they might find a way to survive and amplify each other.
Let’s look at a possible symbiosis between digital and traditional marketing.
Understanding Traditional and Digital
- Traditional Marketing. It might seem hard to believe, but there was a time when print, television, and radio were responsible for all of the marketing communication. Traditional marketing strategies are meant to spread business visibility outside the internet. Some of the conventional mediums include newspaper ads, billboards, printed pamphlets, and offline campaigns. These methods have been tried and tested by businesses for years now. Most business leaders still trust these methods and are ready to spend a large chunk of their budget on them. Moreover, almost all marketers believe that traditional marketing is a great way to reach a large section of society. Parents watching ads during their favorite TV sitcoms, youth watching the giant billboard on their way to work and school; all of these leave an undeniable impact on the customers’ buying habits. However, the problem with the current situation is that fewer people are stepping out of their houses. Television sitcoms aren’t shooting new episodes for a while. Thus, the media available for traditional marketing is shrinking.
- Digital Marketing: Digital Marketing, on the other hand, works with online media. YouTube ads, website banner ads, social media posts, and email marketing are some of the popular means. With more and more consumers moving to online platforms, this is an effective way of maintaining a brand presence. Furthermore, there have been tech advances that help digital marketing grow even further. There are AdTech platforms that help businesses with insight gathering and audience targeting. There’s also White label marketing, where brands can own an AdTech platform without having to build one from scratch. Digital Marketing is often seen as more cost-effective than traditional means. The catch is that with so many users spending time on the internet it can become an overwhelming task to target the proper sites that would lead to better, convertible traffic. Webinars, PPC, Email Campaigns all the strategies need intelligence to maximize the impact of the investment.
Here emerges an opportunity for both the marketing paradigms to collaborate and help each other with their insights and skills. Here’s how this could be done.
Bringing the two Together
- Mutual Support: While traditional marketing strategies are more subtle, digital marketing is conventionally more direct. In a way, both of them are meant to work in contrast. The call to action for traditional marketing can work towards creating a likable aura for the brand. Abstract messages like, “Colors of Euphoria”, “Virtues of Sharing”, and “Building Empathy” can create positive memories for the customer. These can then be tapped to drive consumer action by the digital marketing campaigns. Programmatic media buying can help businesses automate efficient marketing media campaigns. Popular Hashtags, videos, and emails can reinforce the message given by the traditional marketing media and prompt the customer to take more transactional decisions. Working in concert, digital and traditional marketing can encourage each other for the best of both worlds.
- Distributing Visibility: For different target messages, different channels can be employed. The products and services can be used to target specific sections of potential customers using different methods. For instance, newspaper readers may need to learn about the latest Grocery Delivery service from print media because appearing in the print papers carries an aura of credibility. At the same time, podcast fans can be targeted by more direct ads for offers. Both traditional and digital marketing media has its own loyal base of consumers. Using them together will undoubtedly enhance brand visibility more and move the buyer journey forward. Moreover, a strong presence, both online and offline, will also target the different members of a family, which might lead to parallel (and independent) transactions for increased revenue.
- Personal Touch: Digital media has more opportunity to build deeper relationships with the consumer. Traditional media is restricted by its reach in this context. However, this doesn’t have to be permanent. While AdTech platforms can gather nuanced data from different digital media, businesses can attempt to personalize their traditional marketing further. Monthly catalogs are a great example of that. They keep the offline audience engaged by connecting with them more personally through curated content and offers. This connection can be used to encourage loyalty.
Maybe television ads can encourage the customer to open the next promotional mail. Perhaps the social media post can convince the user to call on the number in the newspaper ad. It seems clear that digital and traditional offline channels can work in synergy for a more significant all-round impact. While digital marketing could help brands keep pace with the ever-changing market, traditional marketing can work towards building a sense of solidity and familiarity for the brand. Together, they can hit the right audience in the right way and help create a community of loyal customers.