Today’s marketing landscape almost demands that your business engages in digital marketing if you want to maintain and grow your customer base. However, that doesn’t mean you should abandon your traditional marketing strategies for digital ones.
Developing a strong, comprehensive, and cohesive marketing campaign that encompasses both traditional and digital mediums can not only help you attract new customers and increase sales but also maintain your edge over your competitors.
Finding ways to make both forms of marketing play well together doesn’t need to be overly difficult. Many of the same strategies that were effective in the past are still viable today–you just need to figure out how to tie them both together so that your brand is showcased consistently throughout.
How Active and Passive Marketing Can Complement Each Other
Passive marketing refers to marketing medium where the audience sees or hears the campaign but is not actively involved in it. Classic examples of passive marketing are television, radio and print ad campaigns.
Active marketing refers to marketing mediums in which the audience can become actively engaged with a brand. These interactions can include getting involved in discussions, responding to videos, sharing images and links, etc. The internet in general, but largely social media has greatly broadened the scope of what is possible through active marketing.
While both passive and active marketing strategies have their strengths and weaknesses, combining the two forms properly can amplify their individual effectiveness and take your campaigns to the next level.
For example, consider a commercial that shows a short, entertaining film, with a prompt to see how it ends by visiting a website.
For those who do not visit the website, you’ve got what you paid for. It’s the same result you’ve always received from a TV ad, someone in your target audience has seen your commercial, that’s one touch-point.
However, those who visit the website will watch the commercial again to see how it ends. That’s two touch points. And because they have visited your website, you can now target them with a specific retargeting ad that will effectively follow them around the internet. You’ve just turned a single touch-point ad into a multi-touch, comprehensive marketing campaign with a single, simple integration.
Leading into active marketing through passive mediums is a great way to capitalize on your brand awareness and get your audience to do some of your marketing for you, subsequently improving its effectiveness.
Brand and Message Consistency
As mentioned above, keeping your brand consistent across all your marketing efforts is hugely important for building brand awareness and critical for cross-platform marketing campaigns.
What companies spring to mind when you think of soft drinks, sneakers, watches or tools? Chances are you thought of a few specific companies in association with each item. That’s the power of branding.
Embed your brand into the minds of your target audience, and they will think of your company in relation to your products or services before they think of a competitor. We call it being top of mind, and it takes a lot of brand interaction to become and stay top of mind with your target audience.
The same holds true of your marketing message. Let’s say that your company is running a campaign that incorporates print ads on the back of taxis, local television spots, a YouTube video promoted on social media, and a pay per click campaign that drives traffic to a website landing page. The branding, visual style, imagery, and copy for all the mediums must be consistent, or you will not reap the benefit of reaching your target audience across multiple mediums.
In short, if you are not consistent, then your message won’t be reinforced because it’s not the same message from one medium to the other. An inconsistent brand or message will dramatically reduce the effectiveness of your marketing campaigns.
Because many small to mid-sized companies work with different vendors for their print and digital work, there is often a lack of consistency from one medium to the other.
An easy test that you can perform right now is to grab a piece of print collateral; it could be a brochure or catalog, a print ad, or even your business card if nothing else. Next, pull up your company website and hold the print collateral up next to your monitor.
In your mind, imagine each without your company logo on it. Would the average person in your target market be able to identify that the two pieces of marketing materials are for the same company without the logo present? Be honest, now.
For many, the answer is no. This inconsistency is all too common and why we work with clients to establish a brand style guide to foster a consistent brand and message.
You must establish a consistent brand and message if you want to be successful with integrating your digital and traditional marketing.
Integrate Digital into Your Traditional Efforts
We’ve explored one example of how you can lead into digital marketing through a traditional marketing method, but let’s explore the idea a bit further.
Not only does an integrated campaign help you to reach a wider audience, but it also increases the number of times your message may reach the same target audience member. This message repetition strengthens your marketing campaign overall.
A print, television or radio ad may only air or appear for a short period or during a specific time-slot, but digital marketing can be widespread and run for longer periods.
Incorporating hashtags, inviting consumers to visit your Facebook page, creating videos and using other social media platforms to announce sales or present relevant information can increase campaign impressions and maximize your marketing.
While creating focused and consistent multi-platform marketing campaigns may seem like a daunting task, the road to integrating your digital and traditional marketing always begins with small steps.
Consider adding social icons to your next print advertisement. Adding social icons will let potential customers know that you have a presence on the platforms where they spend time online.
It’s a small step, but a step in the right direction none the less. And one that could lead to a few more brand interactions than you may have had without the social icons on the ad.
When developing your marketing plan, strategies, and campaigns, think about what you want to achieve and what message or story you want to tell your audience.
Then, think about how that message can be translated across all the different mediums available. And remember that a campaign that includes both traditional and digital marketing can yield the best results by appealing to a wider audience and getting more impressions within your target audience.
If you work with separate vendors for your digital marketing and traditional marketing, ensure that you communicate your branding and specific campaign style requirements so that your message is reinforced across all mediums and not lost somewhere along the way.
In marketing, consistency is always the name of the game. Unfortunately, many companies neglect consistency when it comes to their traditional and digital marketing. Don’t let your marketing efforts sputter and stall because of something as simple as consistency.