Let’s not be so quick to bury traditional marketing, though. It’s useful!

The handwriting is on the wall, and it says “Digital marketing will dominate the future, but …”   

The “but” tells us that traditional marketing methods will continue to have a strong role and will be an important complement to digital methods.  So we’ll say it in large bold type, on the nearest wall:

TRADIGITAL.

We’re starting to hear the term more and more, referring  to the integration of marketing techniques from both traditional and digital marketing.  A great example? The credit card companies.  The ‘what’s in your wallet’ credit card people are in your TV, in your mailbox (surprise?), in all your smart devices, and you can just bet that soon they’ll pop up on your Kindle.  You can bet the marketing budget allocation is driven by some serious analytics!

Marketers who have run simultaneous campaigns are agreeing that choosing just digital marketing, especially in the beginning of a marketing campaign, may not be the ideal approach. Studies from successful campaigns show there are specific areas where traditional marketing channels are still pretty darned effective and a necessary part of the mix to ensure the maximum marketing impact per dollar spent. 

Think, for example, about businesses that continue to operate out of ‘brick and mortar’ locations: auto repair, health clubs, hair salons, restaurants, and many others that depend on customers and prospects to visit their physical locations. The customers who visit physical locations are likely stronger and more loyal than those who Google their shopping and to-do list from home. So the question is how can I target these strong customers and keep their loyalty?

Here’s how we’d do it: We’d integrate both traditional and digital. We’d use signage, collateral, PA system announcements and video to cost-effectively  sell/upsell and build loyalty programs in these locations. With the locations that distribute products and services, we’d research to determine their trade areas – where and how far their customers come from – and the potential of that area. We’d analyze the best customer lookalike and find additional lookalikes in our trade area.  If we can tie an email and URL address to customer prospects, we’ll target them digitally as well. 

The combined marketing should direct these loyal customers to the best/nearest facility, target prospective customers using digital ads, test incentives and build brand loyalty online.  Digital marking IS a key part – we’d say THE key part – of the marketing mix, but the traditional route can still be cost effective and has a place in the marketing plan.