Is Traditional Marketing Dead?
So you have read my recent blogs about social media and how it should be a fundamental part of your marketing plan going forward. Whenever I speak to someone regarding social media they ask if traditional marketing is still needed. This raises an important point that I want to make sure that everyone reading understands. Social media, in and of itself, is NOT a marketing program. Did you get that? In fact, one can argue, and many do, that social media is overrated and not even truly needed as part of a marketing program in 2011. While it is true that some companies can still flourish while completely ignoring social media, I think they are missing a large opportunity. It is my belief that the integration of social media alongside traditional marketing represents a superior option to using either strategy alone.
There is no doubt that people by the millions are becoming social media fanatics. Even my mother is very active on Facebook now and she is in her 70’s. With that kind of shift in the way that people are interacting with each other, a huge opportunity exists to interact with potential customers at this level in a way that resonates with them. However, most people still interact with traditional media outlets on a regular basis as well. We still read the newspaper, subscribe to magazines, watch television, etc. The one exception to this might be the yellow pages. Not to pick on this group, but who looks in the yellow pages to find information any longer? The only reason to still buy an ad is to get the online listing in my opinion.
Back to the point, with people today consuming their media in both traditional ways and over the internet, I feel that a sound marketing plan should ideally combine both of these elements as well. Traditional media is not dead, but it needs to be complimented with a strong strategy to reach people in their social graph. This is the reason that you are seeing more newspaper and magazine ads include a smart tag (or Quick Reader- check out Window Film magazine’s sister publication doing a demo). These direct someone to a particular spot on the web where they can continue the story started in the ad. This is why you are starting to see television commercials that have a storyline that ends abruptly with a “see the rest of the story at…” What these retailers know, and you should too, is that moving forward the best strategy will integrate traditional media with web 2.0 to reach and engage potential customers in a way that was impossible several years ago.
So, is traditional marketing dead? Absolutely not! Is a social media presence and strategy a necessity? Frankly, no it is not. However, the smart business will look for ways to integrate these two together to create a marketing program that is superior in every way to one that solely uses one or the other.