Today, every tactic in marketing has a digital element to it. However, this does not mean that traditional marketing is out of the equation. Traditional marketing techniques, such as events and public relations, can complement your digital marketing strategy to form a well-rounded approach to your promotional outreach efforts.

Before you look at both integrating digital and traditional marketing tactics into your strategy, you must first understand the characteristics of both marketing techniques.

Digital marketing encompasses digital advertising, search engine optimisation as well as your social media management. They come with several benefits including:

  • Cost effectiveness

Traditional media – TV, newspaper ads, billboards – tend to have a higher upfront cost. The minimal budget required to design, produce, and distribute an effective marketing campaign through traditional media can go as high as a few thousands. This could be prohibitive to small businesses.

On the other hand, digital marketing empowers you with the ability to start with any budget. With a budget as low as a few hundred dollars, you can reach your potential audience through Google search result page, or for free via your Facebook Page or Youtube channel.

Some digital platforms also work on a pay-per-click model which enables businesses to pay for advertisements only if they have successfully garnered clicks to their website. This allows companies to not only utilise their budgets more effectively, but also track and gain insights into how successful their strategies are.

  • Data tracking and insight

(Almost) All events in the digital world are trackable. Digital marketing enables businesses to easily measure their return on investment with the help of tracking tools.

More importantly, marketers are able to adapt their strategy and respond to these results quickly as digital marketing results are real time. Tools such as Google Analytics not only allow marketers to measure the volumes of traffic from different channels, it can also track which channel brings in users that performs desirable actions.

Other options such as Flurry and Amplitude give marketers access to powerful data analytics that links their marketing campaigns and customer purchasing behavior. Companies can use this valuable data  to drive better user experience and results.

  • Hyper targeting

Hypertargeting refers to targeting audiences based on their interests and preferences. These audience insights are tracked based on their online behaviours such as their social media activities and searches. Through this method, businesses can ensure that their marketing campaigns reach audiences that are highly likely to be interested in their products or services.

For instance, an individual who has recently searched on fitness related information will begin to see advertisements relating to  exercise or sports . Similarly, if a person is a coffee lover looking for a new favorite shop in town, he or she will receive advertisements of coffee places that will interest them.

Although digital marketing has its benefits, we cannot eliminate traditional marketing entirely. Here are some of the benefits:

  • The Human Touch

Event based marketing campaigns offer a different set of opportunities for your brand.

Through face-to-face interactions, it establishes a direct relationship with potential customers. Your target audience will also gain hands-on experience with the products or services that you offer which can increase brand familiarity. If it is a pleasant and insightful experience, it encourages word-of-mouth marketing which is one of the most influential aspect of marketing.

Do not worry if you do not have the budget to hold large scale events, distributing flyers or brochures can still provide you with direct contact to your target audience. This is still useful especially if you are a startup.

  • Credibility and Objectivity

“While social media revolutionised the way we communicate, we must not underestimate the power and credibility that traditional media relations provides,” said Jennifer Risi, managing director, Ogilvy Media Influence and Head of Media Relations, North America.

Indeed, consumers are likely to trust a PR story than an in-your-face-advertisement because it is verified by a trusted third party, rather than purchased. For instance, till date people turn to established newspapers or the television for news as these channels offer credibility and objectivity.

  • A Wider Reach (if you can afford it)

Although relatively expensive, traditional media, such as TV or radio, enables businesses to reach out to the masses.

The use of creative visuals, an interesting brand story or audio can leave a memorable impact on your target audience. For instance, marketing your newly launched restaurant reservation app via traditional broadcast can generate greater awareness and interest amongst majority of the population. However, it is important to keep in mind that large budgets are often required when using traditional marketing channels.

Using only digital marketing channels or focusing solely on traditional marketing strategies can be effective depending on the purpose of the marketing campaign and your target audience. However, a strong mix of digital and traditional marketing tactics that complement each other can create a more compelling campaign.

Marketers should design an integrated marketing strategy to address the unique needs of the business and to achieve results in the short and long term.

For instance, at a marketing event, businesses can encourage customers to scan a QR code to be on the mailing list. This creates a human touch, and at the same time, provides an avenue for the business to collect data from potential customers. The business can eventually reach out to the target audience via e-mail, keeping the brand at the top of their customers minds.

Alternatively, your brand can incorporate hashtags into your print advertisements. This can help to drive potential customers to find out more about you on your social media channels.

TV broadcast and online video platforms are also channels that complement each other. Marketers can design video marketing content that can be segmented into multiple episodes. The first episode can be broadcasted on TV to gain mass awareness, and subsequent episodes can be uploaded onto YouTube.

These are just some of the many ways marketers can integrate both traditional and digital marketing strategies. Ultimately, brands must understand where your target audience lies, and employ the correct marketing platforms to reach them.