The Significance of Traditional and Digital Media in Marketing

The methods by which businesses generate leads, communicate and reach existing and potential customers have evolved significantly as customer expectations and needs evolved over the years.  Effective communication and marketing strategies entail conveying the right message to consumers utilizing traditional and digital media communication channels most suitable to connect with consumers, communicate the brand message, and produce optimal results. 

Traditional vs. Digital Media Communication

Businesses have relied on traditional marketing methods such as outbound marketing which used traditional media to communicate, push, and reach out brand messages to consumers.  As advances in technology emerged, consumers have gained more interest and convenient access to various sources to seek and access information about a product or brand.  Consequently, businesses have shifted more marketing efforts towards using an inbound marketing approach by using digital media to connect with consumers and provide them with solutions that can help solve their problems.    

Traditional Media:
Traditional media enables businesses to communicate and reach a broad and targeted audience using marketing and advertising methods that consist of door-to-door sales, cold calls, posters, window displays, taxi or bus wraps, and signs.  Billboards, for instance, are eye-catching, impactful, and effective in increasing brand awareness, product or brand promotion.  According to Lamar’s article about statistics from the 2019 Nielsen Out of Home Advertising Study, 85% of consumers observed an ad message from a billboard they saw.

Traditional media also consists of broadcasting advertisements such as radio and television commercials and direct mail and print advertisements such as catalogs, newspapers, and magazines.  Printed advertisements help businesses reach specific audiences or consumers who prefer tactile experiences such as physically reading magazines and getting the brand in their hands.  They also help brands reassure their consumers of their credibility, which aids consumers to develop trust in the brand. 

Digital Media:
Digital media consists of social media, pay-per-click or paid online advertising, websites, search results, search engine optimization, email and content marketing, blogs, and digital audio and visual content such as video, photos, and illustrations enabling businesses to target their audience online.   

Businesses can engage with their customers and motivate them to invest in their product or brand by creating a personalized and one-on-one experience with their customers and building nurturing relationships between the customers and brand. 

For instance, organizations develop connections, two-way communication, and one-on-one conversations with existing and potential customers through social media to enable customers to share feedback, ask questions, and receive answers and information about a product or brand.  Businesses can also gain insight about and better understand their customers and educate customers to provide them with products and services tailored and satisfy their wants and needs. 

Key Takeaway

Traditional media enables businesses to build awareness, spread information, and convey their brand message to a broader audience while incorporating call-to-actions to compel the audience to seek more information about the brand or product by searching online.

Digital media encourages engagement between the brand and specific audiences by creating a dialogue or two-way communication with the targeted audience or customer.

Customers are unique, and the approach by which communication occurs between the brand and customers should also be unique and tailored to the targeted audience.  Therefore, a combination of traditional and digital media can help businesses connect and reach customers with the brand more effectively.

For instance, Coca-Cola, a multinational soft drink and beverage company, launched their “Share a Coke” Campaign in 2014 and was successful in utilizing both traditional and digital media to achieve their marketing objectives which were to rebrand the brand Coca-Cola or Coke logo and inspire and establish a personal relationship with customers.  The marketing campaign objectives entailed changing “Coca-Cola” that appeared on one side of the bottle and replacing the phrase with “Share a Coke with” and allowing the customers to find their names and friends on their favorite Coke drink bottle.  The new label design consisted of hashtags that inspired the customers to tag their friends and post and share pictures of the new rebranded product design on social media.       

It is critical for businesses to select the right and best media mix, traditional and digital, by determining their targeted audience and campaign goals and objectives to achieve a successful marketing campaign.  Conveying a brand message across multiple platforms using traditional and digital media enables businesses to allocate their resources efficiently, maximize reach, and optimize the results from their marketing campaign efforts.

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