By: Kate Simmons
There have been a ton of posts in recent years about how the switch to online marketing is crucially important to viability in the Internet Age of the 21st century, and all of these authors make undeniable assertions about the future of the industry. There certainly are many marketers out there who have not picked up on the shifting winds, and would greatly benefit from rethinking how they do things.
It’s also true, however, that there are others who, in their eagerness to confront the future of online marketing, have left behind some useful tools that they didn’t necessarily need to abandon; instead of diligently reorganizing their marketing campaign strategies, they have wiped out the old entirely and in doing so broken the old “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” adage.
So how do we bridge this gap? There must be a middle ground between the old generation and the new. Marketing strategies are not mutually exclusive, and there are many ways to appropriate your resources toward operating a traditional/online strategy hybrid.
Here are some of the most effective techniques of both, with a few ideas on how they can work together to create the best campaign possible for you and your product.
- Fliers and Posters—Every two years or so, starting in the summer and growing steadily into the fall you begin to see political posters springing up everywhere. In the beginning, you may not recognize the name on the paper, but after a few months you feel like you could babysit this person’s children. The visual association that you develop over the course of these weeks is strong, and it stems from the repeated exposure that develops from all those signs. Why is this technique still around, even in the midst of the Internet Age? Because it works. Regardless of the increasing amount of time that we spend online these days, we still get in our cars or walk down the street, and being able to access this window of opportunity as a marketer is as crucial as it ever was.
- TV and Radio Advertisements—The internet has not, as of yet, detracted substantially from the amount of time people spend watching television or listening to the radio. If you have the resources to do so, creating TV and radio ads and developing a good strategy for getting them to your audience can be very effective.
- Cold Calling—This is a tried and true tactic that is controversial amongst those are interrupted mid-dinner to be hounded for blood donations, but incontrovertibly effective if done on a large scale. You may run into an occasional argument or an impenetrable phone call service, but you will see sales increase if you carry this tactic out for an extended period of time.
The main advantage to online marketing strategies is that they allow you to be much more specific with your audience. Once you’ve determined who your target audience is, you can more effectively direct your outreach directly to that group.
- Multichannel Marketing—This is what lies at the heart of advanced modern marketing strategies. Being able to connect with a customer across various channels (home computers, mobile devices, television sets) is key to ensuring you get the most bang for your buck in terms of marketing efforts. Marketing has proven most effective when it is consistent and ubiquitous across multiple channels for the same specified target group.
- Inbound Marketing—This is a term recently populated in reference to the process of using SEO and link building services to help your target audience find you, rather than the other way around. Blog posts with embedded links, guest posts on other sites, eBooks—these are all good ways to help build a constructive inbound marketing strategy.
- Social Media Promotion—Strong social media presence across various outlets (YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest) is essential to any productive campaign in the 21st century. People spend more time than ever on social media, and it provides a fantastic platform for getting your message across to the people who would be most interested in hearing it.
Synthesis and Concluding Thoughts
As you can see, there are a multitude of tested strategies on both sides of the millennial divide that will help push your product effectively on the market. And they are not mutually exclusive. Running a quarter-carding campaign with a label on the bottom linking to a website or hashtag associated with our brand is an effective way to combine the power of these tools.
Much of marketing is not changing, but staying the same. The same industry rules apply, and the nature of the customer base is not shifting in any radical way. Online marketing is developing as a way of facilitating and complementing your old ideas—not of crowding them out.
Kate Simmons is a freelance writer and blogger on topics related to digital advertising, social media marketing, and mobile marketing. Keep an eye out for more of her articles on Twitter.
For more performance marketing stories and exclusive content, make sure to like TheMail on Facebook, follow on Twitter, subscribe on YouTube, and sign up for our Email newsletter.