The merging of digital and traditional marketing tactics

The infamous Don Draper didn’t do anything with digital advertisements, and he sure did pretty well, didn’t he?
Sure – the setting of “Mad Men” took place decades before terms like: banner ads, click-thrus, CPM, and all those other important digital marketing-speak buzzwords became normal parts of our vocabulary. And fictitious characters like Don Draper, much like the rest of his Madison Avenue cronies, pulled all sorts of shenanigans that could get someone slapped, if not fired (or arrested) today.

But the world of Sterling Cooper, at least professionally, showed us an ideal advertising agency, including some creative account management strategies and marketing practices that can still be emulated today.

Unfortunately, one of the elements of the old-school approach still used by modern ad agencies is when clients are sometimes offered separate menus for “traditional” off-line services, as well as for their digital marketing needs. In some cases, an agency may even have specific account execs who focus solely on offering their expertise in one discipline or another.

Each approach has its advantages – digital is growing, and has a far greater reach than local media. And, of course, it is easier to track. Traditional media, however, still finds support among consumers and is almost expected in certain campaign strategies (print, billboards, direct mail, etc.), while some traditional advertisements commanding a higher price point than their electronic counterparts.

What’s happening in today’s world is that both of these approaches are merging together, so instead of presenting distinctions to clients between your digital marketing agency service offerings and your advertising agency service offerings, clients are often told “we can do it all.” Talk about “simple but significant” (a classic Draper line).

Here’s why it’s a smart strategy.

It shows that you can in fact – do it all

If your digital marketing agency partner is able to offer “everything,” rather than one approach or the other, they’ll focus on the client first and how best to help them. If a client wants to change their spending in one area, the same person or the same team can say “let’s figure out how to make it happen” instead of “let me hand you off to other people who know more about that.”

Less internal competition

If you have some team members who are knowledgeable in digital and/or non-digital programs, they likely will push for their particular products and skill sets, even if unintentional. Digital and non-digital proponents, along with a finite amount of a client’s budget, can lead to sometimes strong internal discussions about which direction to go. Each program has its merits, but a client might feel pressured or confused when the digital specialist has different recommendations than the non-digital rep.

The digital marketing landscape has changed

Not long ago, digital consumers used different tools and resources to reach their audiences. Social media, desktops, live streaming, and mobile phones all required distinct strategies. But now, with more people using mobile devices instead of desktops, consumers can do it all with only one device. From an advertising agency perspective, mobile and non-mobile should replace digital and non-digital.

Not everyone likes digital marketing

Whether out of unfamiliarity, habit, general dislike or just stubbornness, some people prefer non-digital methods like newspapers or direct mail. It’s likely this number will decline over the years as it becomes increasingly difficult to resist technology. But smart advertising agencies should be able to advise their clients that there’s a time for every method, even non-digital. Inc tells us that snail mail, as much as it’s ridiculed by tech enthusiasts, can sometimes have a more precise reach than email. A personalized note can also go a long way in today’s virtual society, rather than the same email that everyone on a list receives.

More data to drive customers to make decisions

With digital advertising, a business can have all sorts of metrics available to them they never did before. Business owners can also use these outlets to tell their customers about their off-line products. With a social media post like, “check out some photos from our new magazine campaign” or “we just put up a cool new billboard on the highway. Check it out!” The opposite can be true too – the off-line products should drive people to the site to learn more info.

Clients want both traditional and digital marketing

In a study published in OurSocialTimes, it describes the predicted spike in digital marketing in that 77% of surveyed companies plan to increase their digital marketing budgets. But at the same time, a small percentage of those surveyed said that 80% of their marketing output comes from lower-tech efforts such as trade shows, sales calls, and opportunities to have a face-to-face conversation. It’s essentially Sales 101, only now, the sales executive has more tools at their disposal to help build a company’s brand.

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