Without an effective marketing strategy, there’s no way your business will thrive and grow. However, in a world that is always changing and evolving, it’s difficult to formulate the right marketing strategy to reach your target market(s) to motivate them to buy your product, develop loyalty to your brand, and encourage them to recommend your brand to others. There are lots of different tactics you can use. Determining which tactics to use and how to combine them into a cohesive strategy is essential. Combining digital marketing and traditional marketing is also necessary to reach most target markets since consumers exist in both the virtual and real worlds. As you can see in the graphic below, companies spend less on TV advertising, and much of that now comes in the form of advertising on streaming media, but still accounts for a significant advertising spend for organizations.
Developing a marketing plan combining various marketing tactics, both digital marketing and traditional marketing, that delivers results isn’t an easy task, as it requires extensive research, careful thought, and the involvement of multiple players within your organization such as managers, sales professionals, operational employees, current customers, and stockholders. If you struggle with where to start in developing your marketing strategy, then here is a little advice to get you started.
Creating a marketing plan combining digital marketing and traditional marketing
Crafting a marketing plan isn’t something you do in an afternoon sitting in your office. First, you must research aspects of the external environment, such as the economic state of affairs in the locations where you market your products, competitors (both direct or indirect competition-check out Porter’s Five Forces model to better understand the nature of competition in your industry), the legal and regulatory factors that impact your industry, the cultural environment surrounding your target market(s), and current technology, including how existing and new technologies might impact your business.
You also need to critically evaluate your internal environment. Commonly, we use the concept of the 4Ps as the guide in developing an internal environmental scan. You can also use other, related concepts such as the one below or others.
Of course, there’s more to creating a marketing plan than just research. If you want to learn more about how you can build your own marketing plan to reach your goals, check out this post. In determining which marketing tactics to include, both digital marketing and traditional marketing, consider incorporating several of those listed below.
Although you may never have considered them, an interesting way to market your business is to utilize a vinyl wall mural installation. These became popular in recent years and are a great way to bring new life into a space. A subset of outdoor advertising, you might include a mural in a subway station, in your lobby, on the side or front of a building, or on any wall that gets a lot of traffic passing by.
Murals are quite easily installed and so don’t cost a lot of money. The best thing about these pieces of art is that they are quite unique in terms of marketing. People are more likely to remember you if they walk past you every day or look over at the mural while stuck in traffic. The only limitation is that you only attract people who pass by the local area.
Speak with potential buyers
You need to understand your target market, where they hang out, what’s important to them, and their biggest pain points before you can develop and market to them successfully. That means you must interact with real prospects either in online spaces or in real life. We’ll discuss social media as an online space for interaction in the next section. Here, we want to talk about networking.
Seek out local and community events. Attend them when you can or at least send a representative from your company. This will help put your name out there and allow any potential customers to ask any questions about your services. The important thing to remember is you are not there to sell. Listen to the people and get stuck in with the event. Everything else will follow.
If you look around, you’ll find lots of ways to interact with potential buyers. Most communities offer a Meetup group or two where real people meet in local communities to discuss their shared interests. While many of these groups were on hiatus during the worst of the pandemic, more and more are returning to real meetings. You can also find opportunities to attend trade shows as a business to show your product to attendees or as an individual to talk to others who are interested in your products. Churches, schools, and other neighborhood events offer opportunities to meet folks for casual conversations while business meetings sponsored by the local Chamber of Commerce are great for meeting local businesses.
The hallmark of traditional marketing is paid advertising and you have many options when it comes to where to place your advertising depending on your goals and budget. Traditional advertising is still a great tool, especially if you’re trying to reach an older market. You can use TV advertising, with cable channels offering opportunities to reach niche markets without the high cost of broadcast stations. Radio is still an option although few younger people listen to commercial radio.
Promotions are a great tool, especially to encourage trials or as a reminder for customers who haven’t made a recent purchase. Examples of effective promotions include:
- Discounts, including those that encourage lapsed customers
- Introductory pricing
But, promotions also include other types of incentives, such as distributing hats or t-shirts as a way of spreading the word about your products. Using products that are worn or displayed in some way, such as coffee cups, bags, and pens, not only helps spread the word about your brand far and wide but also acts as an endorsement of your brand by the people who use and display the promotions.
Social media is a great tool for building awareness of your products and developing a relationship with your community. Social media is also a great way to stay in touch with your customers; creating a two-way dialog that increased loyalty and reminds them to purchase again. It also gives you an open channel to help you deal with any issues, questions, or complaints that people have that might impact their purchase decisions.
Because social media is more of a community than traditional marketing, your community members help spread the word about your products, encourage their friends to also make a purchase, and validate your product messaging. Influencers are an effective way to harness the power of your community to motivate others to buy your brand, as you can see below.
While organic traffic on social media declines, the use of social media advertising allows you to reach highly targeted audiences who are more likely to view your product favorably and make a purchase.
Get involved with other online communities
One of the best ways that you can promote and advertise your company is to join a specific industry online community, such as one on Reddit. You should focus on building connections with members who are active contributors to that community. They help to advertise your company and will likely influence the community they are active in. This helps expand your online network and build your credibility.
SEO and content marketing
Search engine optimization, or SEO, is a key element of your online presence as optimizing for search helps online users find you. As you can see in the graphic below, Organic search, visitors who find your website by using a search engine, offer more revenue than other online promotions in every industry.
It is essential for many businesses to have a well-developed website that ranks near the top in search results since users commonly click on content in the top positions in their results. SEO uses a complex algorithm to rank every piece of public content online and involves (among other things):
- emphasizing keywords (actually key phrases) that reflect user intent toward purchasing products related to your website in your online content
- gaining backlinks, engagement on social media, time on site, and other visitor actions that demonstrate the quality of your content to search engines
- a mobile-friendly website that loads quickly
- a good user experience indicators such as easy navigation, filtering in e-commerce to help users find what they want, clean looking websites that invite readers
A website that’s coded properly and uses the right website conventions, such as HTTPS protocol ensures that the search engine can quickly access your pages and rank them higher on the results than others that use the same or similar keywords. Make sure that you have a technically sound website so that people can find you quickly and easily.
Content output is seriously important. It is not enough to just have a website, you need something to grab your customer’s attention when they visit your site. You need to create content that provides value to visitors on a consistent basis. You can do this through a blog or through videos or even infographics, although long-form content (over 900 words) commonly outperforms shorter content. Make the most of different mediums, varying your content, as well as syndicating it across social platforms. Not everyone is a reader, so create a mixture of visual content, as well. Make sure that you cater to everyone. The trick here is not to be too cheesy. You don’t need content that’s over the top. Just simple and informative.
Digital marketing and traditional marketing: the combination
Marketing is a tough gig and if you don’t get it right it can be costly. You should begin by researching the market you desire and then building a plan combining several of these tactics from digital marketing and traditional marketing. Experiment and learn what works by monitoring your results across multiple key metrics, constantly tweaking your strategy until you learn how your target market responds and what works best.
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Hausman and Associates, the publisher of MKT Maven, is a full-service marketing agency operating at the intersection of marketing and digital media. Check out our full range of services.