A lot of businesses treat digital marketing like an either/or proposition. When they hear someone doing a talk on social media, they feel they need to give up on print. Granted, there are those on both ends of the aisle that act like their solution is the beginning and end of marketing magic. The truth of the matter is that traditional and digital marketing work together and that one shouldn’t come at the expense of the other…to an extent.

If we’re all honest, we will admit that digital marketing is far cheaper to do and therefore delivers a better ROI than Digital_vs_traditionaltraditional. In HubSpot’s 2012 State of Inbound Marketing, they claim it is 61% less per lead than traditional marketing. So the temptation is to “get rid” of traditional, outbound marketing practices to focus on the digital. But this is a flawed approach as digital marketing can be enhanced by traditional marketing efforts and vice versa.

Take for instance mobile text/SMS or email marketing where the goal is to gain subscribers. Yes, you could simply solicit subscribers through digital means, but if you already have channels built using traditional means, wouldn’t it make sense to use those channels to increase digital subscribers? Examples of this would be to throw a quick blurb at the end of a radio or TV commercial to text in for more details, to have a fish bowl collecting business cards at the point-of-sale or to run a in-store contest requiring an opt in. There has been numerous discussions about how Super Bowl commercials direct people to their Facebook pages for more engagement to maximize the millions spent on their 1 minute commercial. Interestingly enough, a lot of these commercials are being vetted pre-airing on their website and other social networks. How’s that for digital vs traditional collaboration?

Here’s what it really boils down to – developing a marketing strategy that works for you and your customers. Maybe you can get away with straight digital marketing. And maybe you’re still surviving on traditional marketing. But a holistic and collaborative approach is what is going to work the best. Maybe you need to stop advertising in the phone book (I mean, please? Can we get over that already?) and shift those dollars to some Facebook advertising. Possibly you need to shift some Google ad money to having a nice marketing kit printed. Whatever the case may be, integrate your traditional and digital marketing in a strategy that works. Then analyze, readjust to stay relevant to your client base, rinse and repeat.


Image Credit: Greg Christensen