Why we need to stop the bickering about Digital versus Traditional marketing
Big names in advertising agencies are proclaiming that digital marketers don't know what they're doing. Digital agencies and platforms are claiming that advertising and PR are dead.
These headlines keep popping up and frankly, they're unhelpful for businesses trying to get their marketing right and they aren't helping marketing professionals to be the best they can be. The reality is that digital and traditional need to work together to solve today's marketing problems.
The marketing problems of today are constantly changing and thus so are the solutions. Change is inevitable in today's digital world and it seems like every time you get across the newest technology, a new platform, new updates or a new trend pops up, making it difficult for business owners to keep up, let alone know what marketing decisions they should be making.
The issue with black and white arguments over digital versus traditional is that in general, their aim seems to be to generate controversy or 'win' the opinion of the marketing world, rather than helping us to improve. If you read past the blanket claims and bickering however, you can find some valuable lessons. One particular article by Samuel Scott of Tech Crunch was titled 'Everything the tech world says about marketing is wrong'. Whilst this statement is certainly bold, there are 3 key points he made that can help marketers (whether digital, traditional or both) to rethink how we operate on a day to day basis, and to reunite digital and traditional.
1. Question marketing trends and buzzwords
Today's ever-increasing plethora of blogs, theories and new technology means that marketers not only need to keep abreast of trends, but we need to do so with a critical eye. Filtering out the fluff from fact is vital to ensure that we don't just adopt new trends if they aren't actually of benefit to businesses.
2. Get back to basics when it comes to marketing decisions
Samuel Scott calls marketers to get back to marketing basics – look at the strategic foundations of SWOT analyses and the marketing mix – ultimately what message will reach your target audience in a meaningful way and what is the most appropriate channel through which to send that message?
3. Don't separate! Integrate new technology and traditional marketing
Yes, marketers do need to be abreast of the trends and technologies coming out, however even strictly digital campaigns need to consider the fundamentals of marketing in order to make decisions and formulate strategies. Yet traditional marketing channels can have a disadvantage compared to new digital channels. Use the advantages of digital to feed into your traditional activities (EDM statistics, Google Analytics, the ability to use targeted messaging through lead profiling) and use the traditional (Marketing 101, SWOT analysis, the four Ps, market analysis) to support your digital activities.
Don't let petty arguments arguments distract you to the point of hindering your marketing. Yes you should be on digital platforms if they're the appropriate channel for your message. Yes, if you haven't considered the marketing mix in your campaigns, you need to re-visit your decisions. There's no need for an all out war though.