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Updated Apr 04, 2024

Stand Out: 5 Ways to Combine Traditional and Digital Marketing

Digital is indispensable, but don't forget classic marketing for optimal exposure.

Kelly Bosetti, Community Member
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Today’s consumers research products, browse and shop online, making a digital marketing strategy an essential element of any business’s marketing plan. Online marketing messages target customers with an active presence in digital spaces, effectively reaching them where they spend time online. 

However, digital marketing isn’t the only effective marketing strategy. Consumers utilize both brick-and-mortar and e-commerce shopping, making traditional media a crucial marketing channel. 

We’ll explore ways to combine traditional and digital marketing to create an effective overall strategy to get your products and services in front of customers with problems to be solved.  

Did You Know?Did you know
Combining digital and traditional tactics creates a mix of push and pull marketing, where you "push" your brand to those not actively seeking your services and "pull" prospects who come to you for solutions.

How to combine traditional and digital marketing

According to a 2022 CMO survey, digital marketing currently accounts for 57.1% of all marketing spending – and is expected to increase by 16.2%. However, spending on traditional marketing is expected to increase by nearly 3% – reversing decades-long budget declines.

Businesses realize that digital marketing tools and traditional marketing tactics deployed at all stages of the customer journey help ensure they reach as many prospects as possible, no matter where they spend time.

Here are five strategies to harness the power of traditional marketing with new digital innovations.

1. Billboards and geotargeting

Billboards are still a popular way to advertise in specific markets and reach vast amounts of consumers. According to the 2022 Billboard and Outdoor Advertising Global Market Report, the global billboard and outdoor advertising market was expected to reach $66.8 billion in 2022. 

For a long time, billboards’ high rates prohibited smaller businesses from utilizing them. However, newer digital billboards offer much lower rates (as little as a third of the cost) for virtually the same exposure. 

To get even more bang for your buck, pair billboards with mobile device marketing strategies like geotargeting to send banner ads to drivers’ smartphones and reinforce your marketing message.

Did You Know?Did you know
Geotargeting can help you improve your pay-per-click (PPC) strategy. You can test campaigns in different areas and customize your marketing efforts to specific preferences and variations.

2. Magazines and digital content

Print is far from dead; the magazine industry has fiercely loyal consumers. Because magazines are often geared toward niche audiences, they are an excellent way to reach your target audience.  

Publications focused on special interests like business, travel, antique cars, diving and investing are excellent media for hyper-focused consumer sections. Consumers turn to magazines for their niche point of view, so brands that partner with magazines often get a boost in trust with the readership. 

When considering working with magazines on advertising, sponsored content or event sponsorships, ask about ways to reach its digital audience via its social media channels, website or digital editions. 

3. Newspapers and online ads

Some local publications may be getting a bit thinner, but there will always be people who value their newspapers. Homebuilders and local businesses may fare well with print newspaper ads geared toward their target market. There are fewer advertisers, so rates are lower, making newspaper advertisements an excellent option for businesses with smaller budgets. 

Most newspapers have online components, allowing you to connect with your audience on social media as well as in print. Consider negotiating added value for website banner ads or dedicated social media posts on their platforms. 

4. Television and video ads

While many consumers are cutting the cable cord, marketers don’t have to choose between cable and streaming advertising options. TV advertising has become much less expensive, and specific programming, such as local news, may attract your target audience. 

Collect survey data online or via email or text to learn which shows your audience likes, and then run a commercial that tells your story. You can run a decent schedule for about $5,000 per month. Producing a TV spot might cost around $10,000 to $25,000, but it’s a great investment because you can repurpose content for other digital channels.

If cable TV isn’t where you want to be (or is cost-prohibitive), most cable stations have apps or YouTube channels where you can advertise for lower prices. Make video ads of different lengths – such as six seconds, 15 seconds and 30 seconds – to repurpose for social media, digital streaming and your website.

TipBottom line
TV advertising is second only to digital advertising in its effectiveness, according to Statista. It accounted for about $66 billion in spending in 2021.

5. Radio and streaming ads

People still have favorite radio stations, and you can get more exposure for your ads when you buy broadcast and online spots. Reach people during their morning drive when they’re looking for traffic reports and local news. 

Most radio stations will produce your spot for free if you have a tight budget. If it’s a great spot, buy additional placements on Pandora, Spotify and YouTube. You can also use the spot to reach people via advertising on podcasts.

Why you should combine traditional and digital marketing

Creating a marketing strategy with digital and traditional elements helps expand your reach, get your message in front of more prospects and generate more sales leads. Here are four primary reasons why you should combine digital marketing with traditional marketing tactics. 

1. There’s less clutter on traditional media. 

Consumers are getting inundated with digital messages in the form of advertising, emails, sponsored posts and more. With all the noise on digital and ads following consumers’ every move, your buyers may be tuning out.  

Traditional marketing channels are more overlooked. You’re more likely to stand out if you try a traditional marketing tactic. Technological integration into traditional channels can bring you the best of both worlds as you find innovative, exciting ways to reach consumers without breaking the bank. 

2. Customers want an omnichannel approach.

Today, consumers expect companies to blend online and offline experiences with an omnichannel approach seamlessly. If you neglect the offline portion of this experience, you won’t be able to provide your messages where and when customers want and need them.

FYIDid you know
Increase in-store sales with online marketing by using digital activity, including social media posts and online giveaways, to influence offline sales.

3. A combination of tactics creates unexpected personalized experiences.

Personalization is digital marketing’s strength. When you include digital personalization in your traditional marketing tactics, you can provide an outstanding customer experience that drives engagement and sales. For example, Adidas included a QR code on the tongue of its PulseBoost HD sneakers, driving customers to a curated Spotify playlist customized with geotargeting. The playlist added value while reinforcing the brand, as many people listen to music when they run. 

4. A combination approach brings a new level of convenience.

As digital technology continues to expand, businesses are finding more ways to combine in-store and digital tactics to enhance consumer convenience. For example, Walgreens has fostered digital-traditional marketing integration in its app. Walgreens customers can use the app to redeem coupons in-store, refill prescriptions and chat with a pharmacist 24/7. In the store, Walgreens is launching digital devices that can be used as phones, scanners and point-of-sale tools. 

Stand out and be seen with a combination approach

When creating your company’s marketing plan, don’t dismiss traditional marketing and leave leads on the table. Traditional and digital marketing mix aimed at your target customer utilizing carefully selected media can significantly impact how consumers find and interact with your brand. 

Even better, as the marketing world turns its focus to digital advertising, many traditional channels have become cheaper, meaning they’re more accessible than ever for small businesses with limited budgets. 

Jennifer Dublino contributed to the reporting and writing in this article. 

Kelly Bosetti, Community Member
Kelly Bosetti is the CEO and founder of CEA Marketing Group and a keynote speaker. CEA Marketing Group is a full-service advertising agency that focuses on digital marketing and building inbound marketing strategies for clients in numerous industries.
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