The digital revolution has succeeded so completely that it’s hard to remember what life was like before we had the entire web in the palm of our hands. So you might wonder why we’re even talking about traditional marketing in a digital agency’s blog. The tl:dr answer? You need both, and they should work together.
We’ve all heard about the kid who made millions playing with toys on YouTube. He has since parlayed his success into other offline ventures. Surely his and many other similar success stories are strong arguments in favor of a digital only marketing approach, right? Yeah, no. Lightning might strike, and your client COULD rely solely on digital or traditional marketing. However, the odds of success significantly increase when you leverage the strengths of each as part of a holistic strategy.
Old School Rocks
Traditional forms of marketing include TV ads, direct mail campaigns, print catalogs, billboards, and print ads. Each of these remain viable options in our fast-paced world. You might be streaming your favorite TV shows, but Nielsen reports streaming accounts for only about 26% of TV watching. That leaves the other 74% watching cable or network, complete with ads.
The future was supposed to be paperless, but reality has busted that myth in every way possible. Did you know the average American household gets 454 pieces of direct mail in a year? And they get 92 pieces of direct mail from nonprofits on top of that. Why? Direct mail drives results. It has an average ROI of 29% and an average lifespan of 17 days per piece. It’s also easily shared.
Reimagine Traditional Marketing
One significant drawback to traditional marketing is the cost. Glossy, high-quality print catalogs and flashy, engaging television ads aren’t cheap. Thanks to the pandemic, the cost of paper is as volatile as those of lumber and gas. And the USPS just instituted a postage price increase, further stressing limited budgets. For small and large business owners, budget is always a concern. But there are ways you can create a cost-effective direct mail campaign aside from $6 million for a 30-second 2021 Super Bowl ad.
Smaller postcards in black and white can be as effective as a multi-page catalog. Trader Joe’s The Fearless Flyer newsletter wins brand loyalists through its strong storytelling and quirky illustrations. Printed on inexpensive paper and a consistent length, it transforms customers into fans. If you’re an upscale brand, rethink your audience approach with a catalog or brochure. Instead of sending the same thing to everyone, follow the lead of Williams-Sonoma and Costco. Williams-Sonoma segments their customer database, with loyal consumers receiving more frequent mailings; Costco’s catalogs are unique to each consumer.
Digital Marketing Delivers
If you want maximum exposure and interaction with prospective customers, digital marketing offers a host of less expensive options than traditional choices. And nearly your entire audience is online, including Baby Boomers and members of the Greatest Generation. The more important consideration is which digital platform is the right one for your campaign.
Email campaigns offer one of the highest returns on investment with brands reaping an average of $36 for every $1 they spend on a US campaign. But not every industry or even every campaign sees returns like that. On the other hand, email campaigns are easy to create. And 72% of adults enjoy receiving email from brands they like or have bought from in the past according to a MarketingSherpa survey. Email marketing is also easy to measure to see how well your pieces are performing.
Display, search, and social media ads are economical to produce and deploy. If you’re wondering whether or not you should run a Google ads campaign, the answer is “probably” if you’re something, including your services. Are you hesitant because you’re not sure the daily ad spend is worth it? Run the numbers, and consider your goals. But if you’re selling a product or a service, digital ads work.
Think about your own shopping experience and how often you click on an ad! Or consider your experience with browsing then seeing ads for those same items on other websites. Retargeting ads are 10 times more effective than display ads. If you’re trying to drive traffic to your website and raise brand awareness, encourage people to attend an event, or target another “soft” goal, specific types of ads work but the ROI may be harder to measure.
The real secret behind marketing success is a smart strategy that combines traditional and digital marketing. Savvy folks will tell you the first step toward success is knowing your current audience.
- Who are they?
- Why do they buy from you?
- What do they like about you/your products?
- Where do they live?
- Where do they consume content about you/your products?
You can’t guess about the answers; you need facts and hard data. Talk to them, ask them questions, and compile their answers. There are many ways to find this info. Run a poll or survey and ask current customers and noncustomers to participate. Look at the reviews they’re leaving. “Listen” to their online conversations about your products and brand. Review your customer database. Discover where they’re consuming content and what types perform best. Hint: It’s not necessarily your website!
A smart marketing campaign should take advantage of the strengths of each contact opportunity. Print catalogs are an excellent way to reach Millennials, with 54% of Millennials more likely to read a catalog than other generations according to a USPS survey. It’s also an opportunity to showcase your brand in creative ways. Add a QR code to make it simple for your audience to make that purchase online. Why? Because 79% of smartphone users have made an online purchase using their phone within the past six months. If you’re a senior living facility, it’s likely your data review will tell you Baby Boomers like direct mail. But it’s vital to remember they’re not Luddites: They also pay attention to long-form email and they’re outspending other generations online.
A Savvy Partner
Rethinking your digital and traditional marketing campaigns and unifying them may seem daunting. Why not reach out to EVG to chat about how we can help you. Send us an email or give us a call. We’d love the opportunity to discuss how you can reach the right audience with the right content on every platform that makes sense for your brand.