Old School Marketing vs Modern Alternatives…

Entering a new decade has meant that most of us have been reflecting on the past 10 years and I personally can’t believe how much has changed. When you look back at a decade ago, it’s very easy to feel overwhelmed by the constant stream of innovation, and whilst change usually excites me as a marketeer, I can’t help but feel a little scared of it too.

When you look back at the innovation through the past decade, how we have jumped from Blackberry’s to iPhones, MSN to Facebook and billboard campaigns to digital advertising, it makes you wonder…how will marketeers stay ahead of the game? How will we keep up with all the changes in technology? Should traditionally old-school marketing strategies be replaced with modern alternatives?

I was lucky enough to learn a lot about marketing, communications and advertising from my dad who worked in the advertising industry for many years for big name agencies such as ‘Saatchi and Saatchi’. My dad specialized in traditional print, and it’s through him that I have a deep appreciation for the traditional marketing methods that businesses used, and how without digital – they still managed to connect with their customers to not only drive sales but to also generate much more customer loyalty than businesses have today.

Back in the day, marketeers had to really think about all of the possible customer touchpoints in their customer journey and come up with truly innovative ways to reach them. Before you could use programmatic advertising and re-marketing to follow your target consumer online, you had to think about the other ways in which you could engage with them.

Billboards, TV, Radio, Newspapers, Direct Mail and Telemarketing are all examples of some of the more traditional marketing methods. However, marketeers didn’t just dabble in all of them in the hope of reaching their target customer, they would spend lots of time understanding their audiences in order to know the best places to reach them, and I can’t help but feel that this level of understanding has been lost due to easy-access from digital marketing methods.

Digital innovation has meant an industry wide divide between marketeers and digital marketeers, and I can’t understand it. In a world that is changing every single day, marketeers can get lost in the land of innovation and forget the purpose of what they are doing/who they are doing it for. Marketing has and will always be; about connecting with your target audience to ultimately drive sales. The goal of marketing has not changed and whilst the channel might differ, the goal should always remain the same.

Being a millennial marketeer, I was lucky enough to grow up with traditional marketing whilst seeing first-hand the development of the digital world. It means that whilst the innovation fascinates me, I appreciate where it has come from and can see the best of both worlds, and how adopting both actually lends itself to more success.

A few years ago, I launched a multi-channel campaign for the worlds leading darts brand – Target Darts. The campaign spanned across TV, Social Media and Video on Demand. Whilst we could have just focused our efforts on the TV campaign, we new we wanted to further amplify it through activity on SkyGo in the form of six-second pre-rolls, and also a social media campaign across eleven countries. The campaign directly attributed to a 40% increase in sales, however it was the pairing of digital and traditionally methods that led to reaching their target audience across every touchpoint.

Another example of the combination of digital and traditional marketing was for a campaign I designed at the UK’s fastest growing smoothie brand ‘Savse’. The £2m campaign included both ATL (Billboards, bus-adverts, railway takeovers) and BTL (sampling, guerrilla marketing, PR stunts) and the success of the campaign ensured expanded listings in Waitrose, Co-op, Compass and Tesco to grow sales from £0.6m to £6.5m within the year.

What I am trying to prove is that there is no clear-cut rule book for what you should do to market your product or service. There is no evidence to say that you should focus all of your efforts online or if you are better off reaching your audience via traditional methods. In my opinion, the moment you understand your audience….and I mean really understand them, is the moment that traditional and digital marketing disappears, and you’ll just start to do marketing that generates results.

If you need help with your marketing strategy, please get in touch with me at ashlee.bloom@raffingers.co.uk

Written by Ashlee Bloom