Thursday, April 14, 2016

Is Traditional Marketing Gone With The Wind? Said No One Ever.

"Nobody ever got famous predicting that things would stay pretty much the same." 

Ad Contrarian Bob Hoffman, Chairman and CEO of Hoffman/Lewis Advertising.

This is a powerful statement stated by a powerful man in marketing. Its kinda like saying, "The more things change, the more they remain the same." Common sense doesn't change, maybe techniques. Concepts don't change, maybe platforms. In nutshell, traditional marketing is not going away.

Message universality: It is critical for a company's success to have same cadence across all platforms. A firm cannot look at digital space and print media in silos nor can they ignore one over another's expense. While digital marketing has gained momentum in cost-effectiveness and reach, by itself, its not enough. Humans are creatures of habit and we consume content and data from different sources all day. Simply doing online marketing with no print, TV and newspapers advertisements is leaving money and market share on the table. Now online marketing solely makes sense for startups and other bootstrapped and internet-heavy businesses. But if your competitors are using traditional marketing, you better. Or get creative in traditional branding such as setting up inexpensive booths at industry specific websites, getting newspapers to pick up a story about your latest product, a social movement that raises awareness about your company and the cause, mail postcards with a promotion to targeted segment that are your constituents and not internet-savvy etcetera. Research shows that traditional marketing is still one of the best mediums for brand awareness, and in addition with an aligned digital strategy, could be powerful.

Traditional Concepts are Simply Called Differently Online: Let's take an example of marketing terms 'we' grew up with.. Direct Marketing, Personal Selling, Sales Promotion, Advertising, Publicity. Now let's take the example of 'Social Media Marketing'. When our friends and customers on Facebook comment and like our posts, it is really publicity as by definition we are gaining publicity and awareness for our products and services. Its just that the medium we are using is online. When we use Twitter to mention our products and then create content to keep our followers hooked, we are essentially doing direct marketing towards a targeted audience online. And when we respond to customer queries on both those medium, we are essentially doing customer service online. The medium is new but the concepts are traditional.

As an anonymous marketer 'once' said, "How would you market yourself if the Internet didn't exist? Answer that, and it'll help your online marketing too." Let's not confuse the means to the end as the end. And the end is selling our product. And Digital marketing is one of those means.

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