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Digital and Traditional Marketing

This step explains how to use traditional and digital channels together in a consistent way.
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Since the dawn of the internet, marketers have been comparing the effectiveness of traditional versus digital media all the time, it’s what they do. Traditional channels really are the older forms of media, like TV, and radio, and print, you know the kind. And then digital is obviously digital marketing methods that use things like the internet, mobile phones, and other digital formats. Firstly, let’s take a look at digital to help understand the value of digital. So we’ll look at some benefits to really get a feel for what that is. Now, some of the benefits of digital marketing include things like, well, consumers actually spend more time online than ever before.
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In fact, it has surpassed TV as the preferred media choice for many consumer segments. And you can’t actually reach some segments without advertising online. I don’t have a TV, you can’t effectively market to me unless you do it online. So that’s a consideration. Now, another benefit of digital marketing is production costs tend to be a lot lower, content and communication prices, all of that stuff, it’s much easier to produce the ads and things you need to advertise.
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Another thing we have to consider and it’s really important, and the flexibility of digital is built in here, it’s possible to modify the strategy mid-campaign to reflect new insights garnered from the performance, and make those changes to spot new opportunities and move your campaign towards getting the best possible outcome. Another important factor with digital marketing is they’re highly trackable, from initial interaction, all the way to purchase, or lead submission, or whatever. So defining things like a precise ROI in digital is highly achievable compared to non-digital channels. That’s important distinctions, and we must keep them in mind when justifying our position. Now, that’s not to say that there’s no need for traditional channels.
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It’s actually important that they work together, because as part of your media mix, we will include traditional channels, and some of the benefits of those traditional channels include things like, well, it’s high impact. If you run an ad in the Super Bowl, it’s a high impact ad that will workout to a large range of consumers. Another thing it can provide is creativity. Some of the most creative ad formats have been in print, or still, you know, images, or radio ads, or TV, it’s a highly creative format. We’ve also got branding, because a strong presence in high-consumer areas enables companies to get maximum brand impact, like really well-placed [inaudible] or billboards gets maximum impact for your brand.
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There’s also that prestige element of traditional marketing. So, doing a big TV ad, a big outdoor conversion, something like that, it comes with a certain amount of prestige that is really noticed by consumers, and probably the board of directors. Now, there’s also an emotional connectivity with the consumer, you really can connect your brand with the consumer using traditional marketing. And there’s numerous examples of times when using both digital and traditional channels together, and a multi-channel media plan, really leads to positive and excellent results. Now, considerations, it’s always worth looking at considerations.
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So while it’s straightforward enough to measure the impact of digital channels on conversions, on sales or engagement, the challenge is actually to measure the effectiveness of traditional channels on campaign activity. One way of doing this is to use things like baseline changes in performance of your digital channels, pre and post campaign. So what does normal look like? And if things go up, you can attribute this to the influence of the traditional channels having on people to go online and act or engage, taking action in those inbound channels. Another key driver of this is, see, did your brand search increase? Because traditional media can drive awareness of your brand, and now people are actually looking for you.
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This is a great indicator of traditional media performance, and will translate into positive, bottom-line benefits for your company or your business. Now, it’s essential that we use traditional and digital channels together in a consistent way. So aligning the online look and feel of a campaign messaging, it’s colors, all of that stuff, drives higher performance. Alignment across your channels increases audience recall, and your campaign becomes more recognizable for people who see it across all the different channels, whether it’s online or offline, they will recognize it through the consistency. Now, thinking about your audience, we always have to go back to the audience.
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Let’s compare traditional and media formats and how they’re consumed by the audience, because it’s a little bit different and important to look at the differences. So firstly, we have mass versus individual. When people are watching TV or listening to the radio, it can be more of a group experience, the medium is consumed in a group situation. So when you’re watching TV with the family, or listening to the radio in the car and different things like that, you’re all receiving the same message, you’re all hearing the same things, exposure to the same stimuli. It’s a group experience where all the eyes and ears are receiving that single, focused message, so it has to be adaptable to everyone.
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However, if we look at social media, email and apps for example, the medium is the same, and they’re used the same by different people, but the content can be customized for the individual. Most people use the same social channels, the same email platforms, and common apps just to engage with content or whatever exactly it is they’re doing. But thanks to things like technology, we’re able to understand who that person is, and we can adapt our messaging to what consumers actually want to see, and deliver them a personalized variation of the content based on their preferences. It’s far more impactful for them, and that is an individual experience. So that’s the difference between mass and individual.
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Now, if we look at passive versus active, it’s something we will have heard about a lot in our lives. So passive audiences consume things like TV and radio sometimes without any direct engagement with the channel, you know, and they’re not really interacting with it. And then when the ads come on, well, they might not even be paying attention. So it’s much more of a passive kind of experience, it’s more of a one-way communication stream, in reality, and therefore, it’s less impactful. On the other hand, we have active media, this is a form of media where consumers can engage with it. With active media it really tends to be digital, like Facebook, or Google, and different channels like that.
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Because content on digital platforms have been developed to be highly engaging, consumers can share, comment, like, tweet, pin, do whatever it is, but they’re doing something with that content. It’s a two-way form of communication, where the consumer can react, and essentially, they can talk back. That’s the difference between passive and active audiences. Now, another characteristic is the concept of one-to-one versus one-to-many communications. As digital marketers, we can create multiple variations of the same message. This means we can tailor our message to different people, to different people, and engage them more effectively.
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By doing this, brands can also aim to individualize, to personalize, and become more relevant to the consumer, because it’s about them, and that’s what technology can deliver for us. And finally, we’ve got the concept of inbound/outbound, a key differentiator between traditional and online media. Outbound being, “I’m the brand and I push my message out on TV, radio, or print, or whatever.” And inbound being, “I’m a digital brand and people are coming to seek out my content on social media, subscribe to my email, because they want to hear from me, or search for me online. In essence, they are coming to us.”
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So the inbound/outbound split is a great differentiator between our traditional and our digital channels as we can see the differences unfold.

Since the dawn of the internet, marketers have been comparing the effectiveness of traditional versus digital media all the time. It’s what they do. This step explains how to use traditional and digital channels together in a consistent way.

Discussion:

How have your traditional media habits changed over the years. Can you think of a time when digital and traditional channels work well together?

Please share your insights with other learners in the comment section below.

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Getting Started with Digital Marketing

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