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How to Combine Traditional Marketing Channels with Your Digital Marketing Strategy

August 16, 2018


Digital marketing is an important part of any business. If you haven’t moved your business online with a website, social media, advertising, or a blog, you’re one of the few. Considering that 81% of your customers shop and research online before making large purchases, having a strong digital marketing plan could positive impact your sales. 


But does the move toward digital marketing necessitate a shift away from traditional marketing techniques? 


Not at all. 


While many digital marketing businesses will say things like “print is dead,” or, “you should move your whole budget to online marketing” – this isn’t always the answer. Some major brands (like Pepsi) have experimented with pulling all traditional marketing and going solely digital. Unfortunately, it doesn’t always work!


The First Step – What’s Working and What’s Not


So, your traditional marketing isn’t working as well for you as your digital marketing. It’s not necessarily traditional marketing in general that isn’t working for you. It’s the specific traditional marketing strategies you’re using. 


Before you unilaterally ditch all your traditional marketing, break it down. Ask yourself which components are and aren’t working. In The 4-Hour Work Week, Tim Ferriss explains how he uses the 80/20 rule to narrow down his marketing strategies to the few channels that generate 80% of his income. 


Which traditional marketing channels will work best for your business? It depends! You need to do some research. A few traditional marketing avenues you can take advantage of include:  

  • TV

  • Magazine ads

  • Radio 

  • Newspapers

  • Direct Mail 

  • Tradeshows


The trick to using these tools effectively is to strategize. That starts with location. 


Where is Your Audience When They’re Not Online? 


Digital marketers spend a lot of time thinking about where audiences hang out online. Are they on social media? Are they reading blogs? Are they watching videos on YouTube? 


Both types of marketing are about audience. In order for any ad to be effective it needs to hit the right people with the right message. It’s as simple and as complicated as that. 


Some traditional methods have far more visibility (such as radio and billboards). But even these can be targeted with a correct strategy. A billboard for landscaping in an established and older neighborhood in Edmonton likely won’t get as much traction as in a developing neighborhood.


How to Use Technology to Improve Your Print Materials


Print may not be dead, but in the present day it certainly requires more interesting and engaging content, visuals, and tactile effects to capture someone’s attention. 


Content Strategies:


Try to incorporate a digital aspect into your print materials. Showcase your phone app on your magazine ad or direct them to a digital landing page for a special offer. Once you’ve brought someone online, you can have them fill out a lead capture form. 


Visual Strategies:


Do something with your visuals that stands out and grabs attention. Try combining digital art forms such as photography and graphic design. Use pops of colour or unusual images to draw people in. 


Tactile Strategies:


Engage a printing or promotional company that offers stand-out products. Don’t just print a brochure – print it on paper that feels soft or is made from recycled material. Engage as many of the senses as possible – a unique texture or smell can go just as far as your visuals. 


Give someone a reason to look twice, and your message is more likely to sink in. Go one step further for added impact by providing something that can be used or reused in some way, like seed paperor artwork.  


Blending the Traditional with the Digital 


Instead of seeing your traditional and digital marketing channels as opposed, blend them together in unique ways. In many cases, your traditional marketing can bring your audience directly into your digital channels. 


Here are few ideas to infuse digital marketing into your traditional marketing:

  • Use interactive touch screens or tablets at your tradeshow booth or event 

  • Use 2D barcodes that can be scanned using a smartphone 

  • Share your digital tools such as apps and websites in your ads or articles


Another Benefit: Repurpose Your Content for Print and Digital Formats


One of the best reasons to keep traditional and digital marketing channels open is time and cost-savings. If you have every piece of content designed to work well in either channel, you essentially get a two-for-one deal every time. 


What’s the difference between a blog post and a magazine article? 


Not much. 


In some cases you’ll need to modify the message to make it fit, but the bulk of the content can be repurposed. Save time, save money, and find the best channels to reach your audience. 




Was this article helpful? 


If you want to learn more about how to combine your digital and traditional marketing strategies for up to and over 1000% return on investment, call a Magnolias Consulting marketing expert for a consultation. 

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