How to combine traditional and digital marketing

Unsurprisingly, 66% of the 130 marketing consultants and agencies we polled said that digital marketing makes up over 60% of their total marketing activity, with 38% saying it...

While the digital marketing revolution continues apace, lots of marketers continue to rely on traditional methods. Why? And is it working?

Perhaps unsurprisingly, 66% of the 130 marketing consultants and agencies we polled said that digital marketing makes up over 60% of their total marketing activity, with 38% saying it accounts for more than 80% of their marketing.

Digital Marketing

This broadly matches marketing industry reports, such as Econsultancy’s Marketing Budgets 2015 Report, which found that 77% of all companies are planning to increase their digital marketing spend this year, while just 22% plan to keep it the same and 1% are reducing spend.

digital marketing activity

Perhaps more surprising was the finding that for 13% of marketing consultants, traditional marketing methods, such as trade shows, face-to-face and offline advertising, account for up to 80% of their total marketing output. 

In an industry such as marketing – which has undergone repeated tech revolutions in the past twenty years – it may seem astonishing that presumed experts aren’t 100% invested in the most advanced methods. Yet as Dr Dave Chaffey (who spoke at the launch of our report) pointed out to me, face-to-face is still the most powerful medium available to marketers. 

Of course, if you take it a step further and combine the reach and frequency of social and digital marketing with the trust and authenticity of face-to-face you can create an even more potent cocktail. This probably explains why Constant Contact (sponsors of our report) provide a marketing platform that combines email with social media and event management. Smart cookies!

In fact, for all the misgivings I might have about traditional marketing methods, Our Social Times has been combining digital marketing with events to great effect for the past six years. A blog post we published about the power of social media and events (complete with obligatory infographic) is still being widely read and shared today.

Next week in this series I’ll be exploring our findings around how effective specific digital marketing activities really are. Join me.

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