Here Michelle Koehler, Commercial Marketing Manager at Craft Clubs, explores whether an ideal marketing mix excludes traditional channels.
For years, the most effective weapons in a marketer’s arsenal were media: print ads in newspapers and magazines, flyers in mailboxes, commercials – be them on TV or over the radio – and flashy billboards by the roadside.
But these days, it’s digital that dominates the marketing discussion. Websites, brand advertising on social media and working with high-profile bloggers are all popular ways of getting your brand’s name out there. For some brands, traditional marketing has been abandoned completely in favour of digital solutions.
When it comes to putting together the ideal marketing mix, are traditional solutions worth exploring? Or can digital tactics alone get the job done?
The Traditional Track
While digital marketing may be flashy, the benefits of traditional marketing channels are many, and well-documented. For one thing, traditional marketing methods are tried and true: it’s easy for your audience to see or hear and understand the message, as they’re used to being marketed to in that way.
It’s also possible that, alongside understanding your message more easily, they’re also more likely to remember it. In fact, studies have shown that people remember information 70% better when a physical flyer is sent to them in the mail, rather than as an email.
On the other hand, traditional marketing methods can be very costly. Buying ad space on television or in a magazine can run into the tens of thousands of pounds; it can also be difficult to track the direct impact of that investment. There is also very little interaction between the target audience and your team, which means the conversation is one-sided.
So how does digital stack up?
The Dawn of Digital
It’s not hard to see why digital marketing is such an alluring proposition. For one thing, the speed with which your message spreads on social media is unique. An average Facebook user has 190 friends; if they like a marketer’s post, 12% of his or her friends will see it, resulting in around 15 new leads for the marketer.
Digital marketing campaigns are also highly trackable. Results and performance can be clocked by a plethora of programmes, which makes it easy to tweak a campaign at any time in the quest for better results.
And, while digital marketing campaigns can require some investment to hit reach and impressions targets, the ability to target your content to a highly specific audience can make these highly-targeted campaigns very cost-effective. ‘Unsubscribe’ functions make this especially true; disinterested people can stop hearing from your brand, which means you’re spending your time talking to the people most receptive to your message.
But it’s not all roses and sunshine in the world of digital marketing; there are risks, too. It takes time to achieve measurable success and construct a performance database to use as a benchmark, and before that happens your brand is flying blind.
Digital marketing campaigns can also get lost in the shuffle of timelines and junk email inboxes. And social media presents a unique problem: instant feedback. That can leave your brand exposed to negative feedback from the public.
Is digital marketing alone enough to deliver results?
Here at Craft Clubs, we like to bring together the best of both traditional and digital marketing strategies, harnessing our glossy club magazine and excited online audience to make the stories of our brands as engaging as possible. It’s this mix that we think makes all the difference to us as marketers.
Because, while the world has transitioned into a very digital environment, a great campaign is all about the mix. A multi-channel campaign is definitely the best alternative, where visual and voice advertising, as in traditional marketing, is complemented by a digital strategy which offers more accessibility and convenience.
But, while traditional marketing methods aren’t obsolete, the digital wave is simply unavoidable in our digitally-biased world. What is crucial is that today’s businesses have a website and use the Internet to interact with their actual and potential customers.
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