An afterthought in the English dictionary can be described as an idea, response, or explanation that occurs to one after an event or decision has been made. We are constantly exposed to the debate about digital being the afterthought, where digital and traditional are seen as separate entities and still at odds with one another, says Sian Cohen.
Our core objective in all instances should be co-ordinating our client’s budget in the right way to ensure what we set out to achieve is actually possible. What is true in life is that something shouldn’t be an afterthought just because it’s less familiar. But the fact that it is being considered somewhere along the line means it will only be a positive support to your marketing efforts in the short or long run.
When deciding between digital and non-digital channels, we should encourage ourselves to see both sides of the spectrum and know that our goal is to reach the end consumer and obtain a response from this intended audience.
Impact on reach and effectiveness
With very little effort or investment, online initiatives on the tail end of your traditional focus can have such a great impact on your reach and effectiveness. By inviting your audience, we are able to capture that engagement and bring it online; all it takes is setting a mandate of always inviting people online.
One simple way of doing this is using traditional media as a social driver, and this is more than just including Twitter and Facebook icons in one dimensional form. Capture your audience with your story using traditional media, but continue the brand’s story on social media. Maybe it involves a series of blog posts or a social competition. Intrigue consumers to find out more.
While your traditional media will spread your message to the masses, online media captures the feedback. Then close the loop by leveraging off of what people are saying in their personal digital space, and promote it in the traditional space.
Set aside a small percentage of your traditional media budget to promote all branded content, whether it be an article written by a third party about your brand or a direct piece from your PR office.
Test it online
If you have a new service, product or campaign idea to share, consider testing it first across various online avenues. Start the conversation straight away and gather feedback and insights from your audience.
Through various types of geo-targeted paid advertising such as geo-fenced mailers, SMS or paid ads on navigation apps, a brand can effectively drive customers into brick and mortar stores.
With traditional media and its ability to reach a broad consumer base, digital media allows you to boost relevance as you create the opportunity for a more personalized experience. Additionally, digital has an incredible ability of mobilizing and spreading a message. Start the conversation offline and continue it online. It is in a brand’s best interest to use online efforts to fuel offline tactics.
These examples do not need to be the case for every business and focus should be on doing what is most effective for each unique client. Key thoughts to have is what mediums will be most cost effective, what will provide us with better reach and will achieve tangible, direct responses.
Traditional media will remain an integral part of our marketing efforts, exposing us to information we weren’t necessarily aware of to begin with. Traditional is where we are introduced, digital is where we look to find out more.
Try avoid engaging in a traditional versus digital debate with clients. It is not an either – or. The modern marketer needs to have one foot online and one offline to better connect with potential customers and their lives, which exist both on and offline. As an advertiser, it’s pertinent that we find and maintain this balance, whether digital is only thought of after or is at the forefront of your idea.
Sian Cohen is digital account manager at Carat SA.
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