According to Gartner, companies will have increased their digital marketing budgets by 10 percent year-over-year by the end of 2014. As more marketers increase their budget spend, it will deliver true transformation in all areas of the marketing mix, fundamentally changing the way your customers and prospects engage with you. But that doesn't mean you should drop your traditional marketing plans — in fact, the two should be more unified than ever in order to take full advantage of this transformation. Here are a few tips to help you move away from the old digital vs. traditional mindset and fully integrate your overall marketing strategy.
Align Both Sides of Your Marketing Brain
Consider the right-brain and left-brain sides of your plan and what each side represents as you bring together traditional and digital marketing objectives. The big-picture, left-brain functions involve message development, competitive analysis and identification of trends that will help you achieve your transformation. Right-brain functions require staying focused on such tasks as media buying and planning. Identify the people in your organization who have demonstrated the ability to consider the bigger picture, as well as the team members who do well with the detail-oriented, day-to-day tasks of execution — and put them to work accordingly.
Unify Marketing Goals With Technology
As Econsultancy recommends, it's time to reframe the debate away from "us vs. them" in the marketing department. That will mean understanding where all team members are coming from. You will have team members with marketing degrees who adhere to the common standards of measurability, such as reach and frequency. Your traditional marketing staff will be valuable during this transition because of their ability to analyze data, decipher customer demographics and psychographics and implement tried-and-true best practices. But these team members must also learn to share their knowledge with digital marketing technology specialists: the ones who know all the latest on Google's algorithms, digital e-commerce trends and all the tools of the trade.
All Roads Must Lead to Mobile
As you bring together these two sides of the brain, never lose sight of the most important unifying factor: mobile. If you watch a current 30-second television ad spot, what is the most common call to action? Chances are, it's one of these: "Like us on Facebook!", "Download our app!", "Follow us on Twitter!" This demonstrates traditional and digital working together to culminate in some kind of engagement — and chances are, that engagement will happen on the consumer's mobile device. However you decide to reach customers, your mobile strategy must support it to fully close the loop.
When aligned properly, digital and traditional marketing can become a powerful, measurable and cost-effective way to drive results, taking campaigns to the next level. Depending on your specific goals, it is important not look at traditional vs. digital as an either/or proposition — it's time to get both sides of the brain fired up.