Posted on May 6, 2014 in Best Practices

Traditional and Digital Marketing Must Go Hand-in-Hand


The internet is widely used for digital marketing – as a promotional tool, a distribution channel and sometimes as the product itself. But is marketing via social media platforms always a good tactic?

I came across an article discussing whether online marketing via social media is really a worthwhile investment, depending on your business’ area of expertise.

Does your brand, company or campaign really have something worth saying on Facebook or Twitter? If so, then yes, social media can be an ideal place for promotion, however it is important to have a calculated blend of both traditional and internet marketing strategies for consumers to really know and trust your brand.

According to the article’s author, Jonah Chew, marketers, entrepreneurs, business owners and bloggers are focusing on social media advertising too much. The internet provides many different formats for brand marketing, so only focusing on advertising through social media is like focusing exclusively on “traditional marketing formats such as magazine ads, billboards, flyers and brochures”. The ads can be annoying, easily ignored and are unlikely to establish strong brand recognition or customer relationships, especially if the company has created a Facebook page just because everyone else has.

As a marketer, it is the consumer’s trust and loyalty that you are trying to achieve overall. There is still a barrier between some consumers and how much they trust social media marketing, no matter how targeted the marketer’s messages are. There are many ways to communicate with the customer, especially in the digital world, and social media is just one part of a digital communications strategy.

Mobile apps, podcasts, digital television and websites provide multiple platforms that allow for the integration of product marketing. Consumers watching their television and using their tablet at the same time expect this kind of integration that allows them to see an ad on TV and be able to access the website on their tablet. Creating a successful multi-channel experience shows that your company is forward-thinking and responsive to customer’s needs. Creating the experience for the customer is as important as ever. It also allows opportunities for marketers to move away from pushing their message and instead encourage greater brand awareness, deeper loyalty and higher return on investment.

It all comes down to having a good communications and marketing strategy that suits your target market. As an online shopper, I have discovered many stores, local and international, through social media promotion – particularly on Facebook and Instagram. For clothing stores, social media presence is a strong marketing technique as they actually have something to show their market, using photoshoots and styled outfits to promote the store’s products. Seeing the advertisements or ‘likes’ of pages can then lead customers to the store’s website or physical store.

By contrast, a new café should focus on generating hype and positive word-of-mouth in its local area, rather than just relying on frequent posts through a slew of social media accounts. Pretty pictures of the food presentation are no substitute for the recommendation of a friend. Once customers are loyal, online platforms can be used to keep them up-to-date, reward them with discount vouchers, and then start reaching out to new customers via this established base of fans. Digital is only one part of a successful communications campaign.

And social media isn’t the only thing drawing an unwise obsession from marketers. Of the companies who publish their marketing material digitally – and there aren’t enough – far too many think they only need to publish on iOS. For example, QANTAS Magazine is a publication only accessible on iPad. Not even iPhone users can see it, let alone anyone on Android or Windows Phone. While iOS may be the most popular mobile platform in some countries, it’s far from being a monopoly anywhere. Android’s popularity is a reality and ignoring it isn’t a good idea if you’re trying to communicate with as many people as possible. Restricting your message to just one platform is as crazy as printing flyers for a big football match and then only handing them out to schoolchildren.  In digital publishing, iOS is only part of the much larger picture. Of course, digital publishing is itself just one part of a well-designed communications strategy. A simple, multi-channel approach can help get your mind off the details and back onto the overall strategy.