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Marketing Blog

Can Traditional Marketing & Digital Marketing Integrate?

Meeting the challenge of integrating digital and traditional marketing…the struggle is real!

We can pretty much all agree that digital marketing is here to stay. Websites, SEO, social media marketing, blogging, pay-per-click, email marketing, digital ads, video content; it all comes together to form digital marketing. And many businesses are struggling to integrate their traditional marketing with their digital. So if you are overwhelmed, you are not alone.

How well integrated are your digital and traditional marketing activities?
Infographic courtesy of Smart Insights

The digital world and all of its rapid changes have disrupted the way we communicate and therefore market in a momentous way. This means we have to adapt or our marketing lags, which affects business and none of us what that. But should you jump 100% into digital marketing leaving traditional marketing methods goodbye? We say not really and not yet. Thought that leads us to the next question, what challenges do we face in pulling the two together? Here’s what companies polled by Smart Insights had to say…

What single factor most limits integration of digital marketing channels?
Infographic courtesy of Smart Insights

As you can see, for the most part, companies struggle to have a plan for bringing the two sides together followed closely by the silo conundrum. So let’s have a look at these two problem areas.

First, Lack of Integrated Strategy and Plans:

We see this most in companies trying to do it all on their own. Often whoever has had the responsibility for placing ads (i.e., print, radio, TV, etc.) gets tasked with figuring out this whole digital thing and throwing some time and money at it. There are several inherent issues with this.

  1. Time may seem like a silly problem to start with, but it is often the one we see the most. While digital marketing is not rocket science, it takes much more of an investment of time that traditional marketing. In traditional marketing, an ad gets created and sent to the magazine or radio station to run its course. In digital marketing, fresh content has to be created every day, often multiple times a day to see a return. This is a total shift in the allocation of time and thought process.
  2. Research is also a big time sucker since digital marketing is evolving as rapidly as technology, so pretty much beyond the speed of light. Seriously, you’ll get whiplash trying to keep up with every new social media channel out there.
  3. Original content is the name of the game when it comes to digital marketing but where do you come up with all of that original content? It can be a real challenge to keep coming up with fresh, engaging content for your target audience.

The solution is to make sure enough time is devoted to creating quality content; which is true regardless of whether it is an in-house person or a marketing company who is doing the work. And enough time must include research into new trends as well as in the production of content. We recommend at least an hour per day just for research, which is what we build into our content creators’ and strategists’ daily schedules. Also having a team to brainstorm content ideas makes a huge difference in the quality of the content.

Second, Teams Structured in Silos

Now let’s say you decided to hire a separate person to tackle this whole digital marketing thing. While that often can sound like a good idea, in theory, most companies find that it creates more challenges that it solves. Here’s our take on it. Digital marketing is often intimidating because of how closely tied it is to technology and therefore how often it radically changes. Having two marketing specialists can create a disjointed marketing presence if each specialist is just focusing on their channels. Instead, it is more critical than ever before to make sure that your company’s marketing, it’s messaging is consistent across all channels, digital and traditional. Marketing is marketing, regardless of the channel used.

The solution here is to look at marketing as a whole. While different techniques must be used to implement the message depending on the channel, it is key to keep a special focus on the consistency of the story across the board. Often it takes a great deal of creativity to figure out how to best represent the message between the different mediums.

So it is vital to make sure your marketing staff or your marketing company can look at the whole picture of your marketing. They need to understand that it is critical to integrate your traditional and digital marketing to ensure efficient and effective marketing.

If you are interested in how we pulled the whole picture together at Beacon, we would love to have a chance to chat with you about how powerful integrated marketing can be. Give us a call at 907-563-6008 or shoot us an email at [email protected].

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