If you are a marketer who got your start after the big data marketing boom in the early 2000’s, the idea of traditional outbound marketing methods probably feels stale and outdated.
Billboards, print ads, radio spots, and even television commercials often come across as relics of the Mad Men-era of marketing, when overpaid ad execs would sit around a conference room sipping scotch and putting together elaborate creative pitches to big-name clients. In many circles, traditional marketing methods have become synonymous with failed campaigns and low ROI.
However, the negative stigma around outbound marketing strategies is generally not warranted. While it is true that the emergence of big data has largely shifted the modern marketer’s focus from the more “creative” components of traditional marketing plans to data-driven digital strategies, outbound marketing is far from antiquated.
Many of the most successful campaigns today have found ways to complement their digital output with marketing strategies that have been around for decades. This concept — better known as “integrated marketing” — helps companies amplify the results of their digital marketing campaigns by creating a cohesive brand experience online and offline.
So, in an effort to boost awareness about the effectiveness of integrated marketing campaigns, the ReachForce team put together this post detailing four top tips for merging traditional and digital marketing strategies for better campaign performance.
But, before getting into those tips, let’s answer an important question that is probably on your mind:
Why is Integrated Marketing Important for Campaign Success?
The appeal of digital marketing strategies over more traditional methods is understandable. Data marketing undoubtedly allows for better predictability of campaign performance because marketers can measure tangible results and then use those results to influence future campaign decisions.
In this sense, digital marketing is an iterative process that theoretically improves with the launch of each new campaign. Traditional marketing, however, does not benefit from access to the same measurable data. As a result, campaign performance only improves through anecdotal feedback and often pure luck.
Despite the preference for digital strategies, marketers cannot completely ignore more traditional paths. Here’s why:
First, because traditional marketing builds brand awareness among passive customers.
Part of the beauty in digital marketing techniques comes from their ability to give your brand visibility among active prospects. For example, a business interested in purchasing project management software might run a Google search for “best PM tools” and come across your company’s blog or website. Subsequently, they may see some targeted ads for your software on the social channels they frequent the most. All the while, you are collecting data on this potential customer that can help you move them further down the sales funnel.
Traditional marketing techniques don’t historically work in the same way. Putting up a billboard for your project management software is not likely to spur a random passerby to consider buying your solution. Instead, outbound marketing strategies like billboard ads help build credibility and establish brand awareness. The goal is not necessarily to get someone to rush home and buy your project management tool. Instead, it is about ensuring that if and when someone converts from a passive prospect to an active one, their first thought is your brand. The person who sees the billboard for your project management solution may not convert today, tomorrow, this month, or even this year, but when they do, you know you have planted your brand in their mind as a viable solution.
Second, because it expands your customer base.
You surely have an idea of your target audience and are using digital campaigns to reach that audience where they spend time online. But what about product fit outside of that specific audience? Who is to say what demographic of individuals or businesses may find value in your product or service that you are not currently targeting?
Traditional marketing strategies expand the visibility of your business beyond your target demographic to a broader base of potential customers. In doing so, you may uncover new use cases or even potentially new products for your brand to develop in response to growing demand.
Finally, because your existing customer base still looks to traditional marketing when making purchasing decisions.
A study from MarketingSherpa found that the top five ad formats most-trusted by consumers were surprisingly still traditional media sources like print and television advertising. That is not to say inbound strategies cannot be influential; email marketing and SEO were the most frequent sources of e-commerce traffic in 2017. However, the point here is that both B2B and B2C consumers still rely on traditional marketing channels for help in making buying decisions.
Part of the reason behind that may be the perceived exclusivity of traditional advertisements. With the cost of running an ad during the Super Bowl above $5 million this year, there can be an implicit bias toward the companies that can afford to advertise on such an exclusive platform.
Of course, it is unreasonable to expect the average business to invest in a Super Bowl commercial. But, that does not mean you cannot benefit from a similar effect through other traditional advertising strategies. For example, 31 percent of marketers believe in-person events are the most effective form of marketing — above email, content, and digital ads.
Luckily, you do not need to take a “one or the other” approach to traditional and digital marketing. Integrated marketing allows you to get the best of both worlds (without needing the budget for two different marketing strategies). Here is how you can get started.
4 Tips for Bringing Together Traditional and Big Data Marketing
#1. Use traditional marketing tools to guide consumers toward digital campaigns.
Using traditional marketing to compliment your digital strategy accomplishes two things. First, it expands your audience by increasing your brand visibility. Second, it gives you a way to track the impact and ROI of your outbound marketing tools.
Casper — a mattress company that has exploded over the last few years thanks largely to their traditional marketing strategy — stands as a great example of integrated marketing. Whether on the New York City subway, watching television, or listening to a podcast, chances are good you have heard or seen a Casper advertisement. Unlike traditional marketing techniques of the past which would introduce a product and then hope you take the next step toward making a purchase, Casper offers an incentive in almost all their ads: discount codes. Subway ads all end with “enter the promo code ‘SUBWAY50’ at checkout to receive $50 off your mattress.” With queen Casper mattresses selling for $950, that equates to about a 5 percent discount, so Casper is not losing much on the incentive. But for the average consumer, $50 feels like considerable savings.
Someone who was not considering needing a new mattress will remember that ad the next time they have a particularly uncomfortable night's sleep. Or, when a colleague at work says they are on the hunt for a new bed, that subway commuter may offer up the code they saw as a helpful suggestion. In either case, entering that code gives Casper a tangible measure of the ROI of their traditional marketing.
By using outbound methods in conjunction with digital campaigns, Casper has gained a considerable edge in the ultra-competitive mattress industry.
#2. Cross-promote your traditional marketing content.
Before the internet, television ads were single-purpose marketing tools. They aired for a prescribed length of time and on a designated network, meaning you had to be pretty strategic about understanding where and when your audience might be watching TV.
To be clear, that has not changed all that much in recent years. Television ads still require some speculation. What has changed is that they no longer need to be single-purpose. In fact, the most successful marketers today understand that an ad may start on TV, but the real breeding ground for success will be YouTube. Video marketing is huge right now and the content you create for traditional channels like television can be repurposed for online distribution where you do not need to worry about choosing the right time slot or network. Instead, your content just lives online, where you can then employ digital strategies like social media promotion to drive traffic and attention toward your content.
This concept does not just apply to video content. Print advertisements can be repurposed on image sharing sites (like Instagram) and your own website or blog. The visuals you create to promote your company can (and should) help drive your overall brand strategy.
#3. Create brand cohesion everywhere your customers go.
People spend a lot of their time online. Until everyone lives in some dystopian virtual reality world, there will still be opportunities to promote your brand in offline environments. Whether you are catching people in the car via billboards and radio ads or in the comfort of their homes via print advertisements, your brand has the opportunity to be everywhere your customers go.
If you really want your brand to stick in their memories, brand cohesion is key. The way you present yourself in a print advertisement needs to align with your branding efforts on your company website and social channels. That means more than a common slogan or value prop; it means the colors you use, the voice of your content, and the overall message of your brand needs to be the same across all mediums.
#4. Bring a digital element to your in-person events.
There is a lot of business being done online today, but often times there is still no replacement for a good old-fashioned in-person meeting. Trade shows and industry events are some of the best opportunities for your brand to engage directly with your target audience. However, it would be a mistake to not translate that in-person engagement to the digital world during and after your meeting.
Email mailing list sign-ups are an easy way to make that happen. You might also consider creating your own hashtag and encouraging visitors to use it while at the event for a special offer. Either way, it is important you are collecting key data on your audience while at these events just as you would with any marketing activity.
The Role Data Plays in Integrated Marketing
Integrated marketing marries the traditional and the digital, the outbound with the inbound, thereby introducing new levels of data accessibility to traditional marketing techniques. As with the Casper example cited earlier, this data can be used to help attribute ROI to specific marketing efforts. However, that is not the only role data plays in this process. Good data can also positively impact your future campaign success. Just as data gathered from digital campaigns improves customer segmentation, enables strategic automation, and improves campaign design, data collected in an integrated campaign can have the same effect.
Of course, for best results, you need to be working with clean, high-quality data streamlined through a great data management platform. That’s where ReachForce comes in. To learn more about how ReachForce SmartForms can help you optimize lead generation and improve your impact on revenue, sign up for a free trial and get a demo today.