6 Innovative Ways to Combine Traditional and Digital Marketing for Better ROI

Which marketing route should you focus on to get the most ROI, digital or traditional? The debate is long-lived. And the answer might lie in creating a strategy that combines the two and offers you the best room to grow. This article discusses the purpose of traditional and digital marketing and how to combine both to improve ROI.

Whatagraph team

Jun 16 2021 8 min read

Table of Contents

    Traditional vs. Digital Marketing

    Traditional or digital marketing, which is the best method for your marketing campaign? Let’s overview both types and what strong or weak points they bring to the table.

    What Is Traditional Marketing?

    Traditional marketing is a more conventional form. Marketers use it to reach a semi-targeted audience through offline promotions and advertising.

    Some of the more popular traditional techniques fall under these broad categories:

    • Broadcast: Radio, Television
    • Direct Mail: Postcards, catalogs
    • Outdoor: Fliers and billboards
    • Print: Magazines, newspapers
    • Telephone: SMS marketing, telemarketing, computer telephony integration

    Over time, traditional marketing has evolved to include more techniques and methods. But since the Internet, digital techniques have started overtaking them.

    Pros of traditional marketing:

    • Traditional marketing methods can help reach a local target audience.
    • Radio and local newspaper ads can easily reach local target audiences.
    • Hard copies can be kept and referenced, even without an electronic device.
    • Traditional marketing can be easier to understand and decipher.

    Cons of traditional marketing:

    • Traditional marketing is a more passive type of marketing with little actual engagement.
    • It’s more expensive to advertise on TV, radio, and newspaper, and most TV adverts run for only seconds.
    • Measuring ROI when using traditional marketing means can be difficult. With few hard numbers, it's hard to tell how well a marketing campaign performed.

    What Is Digital Marketing?

    Digital marketing refers to marketing activities involving digital technologies and the internet. What makes it possible? Faster mobile and broadband connections, better smartphones, and new online platforms.

    Some of the digital marketing activities include: 

    • Email marketing
    • Paid social media ads
    • Search engine optimization (SEO)
    • Social media posts
    • Affiliate marketing
    • Content marketing
    • Clickable ads

    This type of marketing is more insightful than traditional marketing. Better market segmentation, wider outreach, and greater customer engagement all provide more insight. And data is easy to gather if you’re using monitoring tools to keep tabs on your different digital channels.

    Pros of digital marketing:

    • Better audience targeting irrespective of geographic location.
    • If you’re looking to tap into new markets, digital marketing will help you explore, and enter new segments.
    • Tailored content to better resonate with your audience. You can personalize content according to gender, income, age, goals,  and pain points.
    • More engagement opportunities — live chats, emails, social media, like and share buttons, etc.

    Cons of digital marketing:

    • It requires expertise, skills, and training to master and takes advantage of. 
    • Creating content to use for digital marketing campaigns can be time-consuming. You could spend weeks working on an online advertising campaign. 
    • This method isn’t without the threat of security and privacy issues. Legalities may also impede what you do with consumer’s data and how you source it. 
    • Plenty of competition. While this may well be a call to improve and better your brand, you may find it hard to stand out against rivals.

    Why Not Use Both Traditional and Digital Marketing?

    Digital marketing is in some ways easier than traditional marketing.

    Say you want to run an ad for a particular campaign but there’s not that much content you can put into one ad. You can then create a corresponding landing page sales funnel. Entice your audience to click on a link from the social media ad. You'll then get their full information from the landing page.

    So, should digital be your sole focus? Not necessarily. If you channel your creativity, you might be able to use traditional media as well for better ROI.

    How Can You Improve ROI by Combining Traditional and Digital Marketing Strategies?

    There are several ways to combine both strategies. Doing so can yield high returns and is effective when dealing with a diverse target audience.

    Some combinations are:

    #1. Use Traditional Media to Advertise Your Digital Channels

    You might be more used to advertising digital channels interchangeably. Like using a webinar platform to teach people how to improve their business with technology but essentially advertising your tool’s features.

    But you can use traditional media to direct people to your business’s online resources. One of the easiest ways to do that is using hashtags in your TV promotions. Another option is using print material as it is still important as it feels more personal, which gives your company a more professional, but also a more personal touch. Design companies like MyCreativeShop can help your company with print material directed to help grow your digital channels.

    Another example is asking your audience to check out your website or email you. This works well at networking events where you hand out business cards and other promotional materials. You can also create a landing page and custom email account just for the event to get insights into how well it went.

    Granted, this type of advertising doesn’t work in reverse. Telling your online audience to go watch an ad you’re streaming on TV or listen to it on the radio makes little sense. But you can always ask them if they have seen your content on traditional media and how much they liked it.

    #2. Use The Same Content on Both Types of Media To Maximize Outreach

    Integrating and using similar content on both traditional and digital media can help maximize a brand’s outreach. 

    Incorporating digital and traditional marketing methods lets you reach audiences you wouldn't otherwise. A way to go about this is by adding your website address to any advertising you do.

    For example, let's say you run commercials addressing customer pain points. You may not have time to go super into detail in the commercial. But, by adding a link to learn more at the end, you have a way for viewers to learn more about your product/service.

    #3. Mix Media Types

    The mix of media types in marketing combines a company’s communication channel to meet its marketing goals.

    For example, podcasts are essentially a radio format and they can be streamed on the radio. But it’s also good practice to record the visual part and stream it simultaneously on YouTube, Twitch, or another streaming platform.

    Another example is generating dynamic QR codes for product packaging, promotional materials, etc. With more than 3 billion smartphone users globally, it's a more convenient way for your audience to access your digital resources. Instead of memorizing a URL or googling your brand. QR codes are safe from a security point of view - provided the codes are generated using a secure QR code generator. code will take them to a specific location.

    #4. Use Geo-Targeting when Advertising on Billboards

    Geo-targeting involves working with the data of a user’s location. An IP address usually determines this.

    Marketers can apply geo-targeting to optimize a marketing campaign’s performance when using billboards to place advertisements. The trick is to place billboard adverts in places where the most requests for your business or service will come from. 

    There is also the option of advertising on public transport in an area that will give you more potential customers.

    #5. Base Cold Calling on Intent

    Intent data refers to information about a potential customer’s intention about a specific action. They can either be implicit or explicit, like in the case of surveys.

    Although this may seem like another effective combination to improve ROI, mistiming it can be harmful to a marketing campaign. This is partly due to marketers who have resorted to using cold calling as an intrusive or invasive tactic.

    The effectiveness of calls made at the wrong time to a random number will be nothing.

    In comparison, with intent data, a call made to a number or a person whose need is already known will be more effective. 

    #6. Combining Traditional Marketing and Social Media to Build a Brand Loyalty

    The combination of traditional marketing and social media can be instrumental in building ROI and brand loyalty as well.

    Brands can use traditional marketing methods to deliver increased brand recall; social media will provide much-needed brand loyalty.

    In addition, keeping the target audience hooked with valuable and relevant content betters a brand’s reputation.

    Potential customers will be attracted and connected to a brand that provides reliable and expert information and quality content.


    Nailing down the perfect strategy with whatever marketing budget available is the final home run of small businesses.

    Finding that correct and effective mix boils down to understanding who potential customers are, what they want, and where to find them. With such information, brands can decide what marketing means to follow and a working plan to make it successful.

    Both traditional or digital marketing offers marketers the chance to reach their target audience.

    Published on Jun 16 2021

    The Whatagraph blog team produces high-quality content on all things marketing: industry updates, how-to guides, and case studies.

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