Future of traditional marketing in the era of digital boom

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Marketing as a principle to communicate the value of a product, service or brand to customers or consumers has been around from the very start of the civilization in one form or another. As the environmental factors evolve and technologies advance at an exponential rate, the marketing paradigm has shifted to newer more customer and content centric approaches being delivered on the digital platform.

The traditional marketing – including advertising, public relations, branding and corporate communications, lead generation etc broadly relies on television, radio, telephone, and print media and telephone as a delivery medium. On the other hand the modern marketing techniques leverage the power of Internet and social media to reach to a more targeted set of audience.

Traditional methods are proven and have delivered high success rates consistently, but with the advent of Internet and social platform that allows users to collaborate and share experiences, the traditional marketing techniques are finding it difficult to deliver results in isolation. Modern marketing techniques provide a very cost effective marketing platform with ability to reach millions of customers in a very short span of time.

The ability to target a defined set of audience with the ability to measure the return on investment in near real time makes it even more difficult for the traditional methods to keep up with the changing landscape. So is traditional marketing a thing of the past? No, it’s still there and still relevant. While marketing on social platforms and marketing has taken a front stage, the traditional marketing is what drives the marketing engine by generating the audience who will be consuming the content delivered through digital media.

Many businesses which fail to understand the power of traditional media and invest heavily only on digital marketing as their marketing delivery tool, can substantially hurt their overall marketing success. While the internet in general and social platform in particular has changed the way we communicate with each other and ultimately how and what we buy, it’s still the Television, newspapers, and billboards that we see and hear every day.

While modern methods require the audience to have an access to an online medium and being Internet savvy, the traditional marketing provides a much broader set of audience allowing anyone with a newspaper, television, radio, or telephone to learn about the business. For any marketing campaign to be successful, it should fully harness the capabilities of various marketing techniques available within both the traditional and modern marketing paradigm.

The key to deliver an extremely effective marketing plan is to use the best of both worlds, utilizing the reach, tangibility, and trust of traditional media and at the same time using the cost effectiveness and power of social emarketing to accurately reach the target market demographics. The focus should be on laying out a consistent and streamlined marketing plan that helps link offline marketing strategies with online efforts. The objective of a marketing plan should be on making the customer’s journey right from the identification phase to the moment he makes a purchase as smooth as possible.

As an example, the following activities can be used to integrate both the online and offline marketing techniques to effectively reach the identified market segments and convert them into paying consumers.

Traditional marketing approaches:

– Can act as “push” marketing by helping businesses to reach a wide range of audiences.

– Lead generation can take a jump start utilizing the print media/television and radio commercials by reaching consumers who are not actively looking or are interested in what the business has to offer.

– Launch events/trade shows are a great tool that can help market the business by instilling the brand within the customers’ mind and at the same time allows for networking with other players in the field.

– Print media and Television help generating the ‘trust’ for the brand within the consumers.

Modern marketing approaches:

– Utilize the power of social computing allowing consumers to share their experiences and also serve as word of mouth publicity.

– Deliver customized content to the target audience with the ability to provide feedback.

– Ability to control budgets by reaching out to selected target audiences who have already shown interest in similar product/service.

– Effectively measure the effectiveness of your initiatives by analysing the results of the marketing efforts.

That said, without leveraging the traditional marketing techniques it would be difficult for the businesses to enter new markets, generate enough leads, and promote trust. While on the other hand, a weak digital campaign will not only negatively impact the brand value but also makes customer retention and satisfaction a big challenge. The marketing budget must therefore be intelligently allocated for both offline and online marketing campaigns to get best return on investment.

In conclusion, with the rise of social media, changing business landscapes, and introduction of more educated customers, the businesses need to rethink about their marketing strategies and lay out a multi-channel marketing plan that carefully lays out an optimal mix of both the modern and traditional techniques best suited for the business. This may not be a one-time exercise, rather should support agility to redefine the marketing plan for the amount of both the digital and traditional media that can help gain market share and earn customer loyalty.

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