2023: The Year of Traditional Media and Digital Marketing Integration

A Guide to Marketing Online Courses Effectively

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If 2022 was “The Year Traditional Media Returned,” then 2023 has been the year traditional media learned to live with digital.

As businesses prepare for the end of third-party cookies—which currently serve as the lifeblood of digital marketing, providing detailed data on search preferences, website visitors, targeting opportunities, and more—an integrated, comprehensive approach becomes increasingly important. While digital still dominates in cost-effectiveness, real-time metrics tracking, and granular customization, “old school” traditional advertising methods long-thought woefully outdated now provide the perfect platform for rebuilding consumer trust, combating ad fatigue from the digital deluge, and generating critical first-party data that informs marketing strategy, enabling a holistic and robust approach that helps your business adapt to the ever-changing marketing landscape.

Traditional Media: Tried and True

You don’t know something leaks until you fill it with water. Over the last two decades or so, the consumer journey has become increasingly saturated with digital media and marketing, and the digital-only model began to spring some leaks. Although businesses and brands could now target and retarget based on highly-specific data and inundate potential customers from literally anywhere there was an internet connection, flaws in the digital-only model began to emerge. There has been new skepticism about the actual effectiveness and accuracy of digital’s promises for personalization and returns, and cutting through the cacophony has become increasingly difficult.  Consumers, weary and wary of a quagmire of questionable content, now demand tighter security measures, more privacy, and the ability to block or skip ads entirely.

However, while opting out of tracking or relying on unreliable third-party data stymies digital marketing efforts, traditional media provides tangible channels where customers can nearly always be reached. Television ads, for example, reach nearly 98% of American households, and at an average cost of $20 per impression, continue to produce some of the highest retention and conversion rates of any advertising method. According to the United States Postal Service, more than one-third of consumers still receive promotional materials, catalogs, and brochures via the mail even if they’ve unsubscribed via email, while billboards capture the attention of millions of potential customers every single day.

Digital Marketing: Dialing in Your Message

From real-time data and metrics tracking to directed efforts targeting specific audiences based on demographics like age, location, and interest, there’s no doubt digital marketing dominates in online spaces like social media platforms, search engines, and shopping channels. With digital marketing, brands can fill in the gaps left by traditional media by fine-tuning both their message and their delivery through strategies like search engine optimization (SEO), pay-per-click (PPC), and programmatic display.

While digital marketing lacks the historical context of traditional media forms, its strategies have become more ingrained with modern-day marketing practices and are subject to the effects of inevitable industry evolution and transformation. Here are a few digital marketing tools you’ll need in 2023 and beyond.

SEO. SEO isn’t new and shiny anymore, but it still ranks third behind short-form video and influencer marketing as a surefire, steadfast way of making brands as visible, searchable, and discoverable as possible for both short- and long-term returns. What has changed, however, is the increased importance placed on techniques like quality original content, on-page optimization, and link building to improve site reputation. Fluid Google algorithms now demand more than basic cookie-cutter solutions to produce results. Businesses need SEO experts with in-depth knowledge of leveraging search insight reports, multimedia optimization, keyword research, and more to move their SERP rankings.

Programmatic display. As more consumers spend more time on the ever-growing expanse of online shopping and content streaming platforms like connected TV (CTV), businesses and brands need to get more specific with their ad targeting. While broad-stroke advertisements on traditional media channels still have their place, the same approach is neither time- nor cost-effective in the vastness of digital. By allowing brands to deliver personalized messaging to specific audiences then track and gauge engagement and conversions in real-time, programmatic display provides ample opportunities to not only attract potential customers but also retarget the ones with the highest potential to nurture positive and profitable consumer experiences.


The Importance of an Integrated Marketing Strategy

Traditional media and digital marketing each have their advantages and benefits, but the best outcomes are realized when businesses find the perfect balance of both. Just like diversifying an investment portfolio, diversifying your marketing strategy with a mix of modalities allows you to capitalize on strengths, work with limitations, and capture the most value from your advertising spend, producing benefits like:

  • Increased audience engagement
  • Improved return on investment (ROI)
  • Enhanced brand reach and visibility
  • Stronger relationships with customers
  • Increased sales and conversions
  • More leads generated
  • Increased website traffic

In 2023 and beyond, successful marketing campaigns are and will be the ones that eschew the “either-or” approach for a “both-and,” allowing them to leverage the power of an omnichannel customer experience across all channels and touchpoints without relying too heavily on any one particular advertising vehicle.

What’s more, combining digital and traditional media equips and empowers loyal customers to become advocates for your brand on an individual level, enabling them to better promote your service or product through their in-person or online networks and lead future customers directly to your market.

So what makes a good integrated marketing campaign?

Successfully integrating your marketing campaign with both traditional and digital media requires four things.

1. Consistency. The biggest challenge to implementing a campaign across multiple channels is creating and maintaining a seamless customer journey. From integrating your sales and marketing teams to producing strong, quality content with consistent messaging, consumers should have the same experience with your brand no matter the when, where, or why of their engagement.

2. Customization. The consumers of 2023 and beyond want to feel connected to the brands they choose. Integrated campaigns that work go the extra mile to create a personalized experience for their consumers, leveraging data and analytics to push things like tailored recommendations or timely promotions that encourage consumers to get—and stay—engaged.

3. Careful planning. Getting it right means doing the research. Market analysis and goal definition help you identify your target consumer and establish measurable goals, while building a budget helps you track where you’re getting the most bang for your buck to ensure you don’t overspend in any one area. And developing an in-depth and intimate knowledge of your audience, offerings, and resources allows you to operate confidently within competencies and effectively within constraints.4. Creativity. Even the best-laid plans are prone to go awry. Stay flexible, fluid, and adaptable as your campaign gets off the ground, and be willing to embrace new technologies and strategies. Instead of locking into specifics, keep your view general and comprehensive and assess things from both the short term and the long. Most importantly, trust the metrics and don’t go by feel. With today’s automation, testing, and data analysis capabilities, you can see what’s working and what isn’t and pivot accordingly.

Build the Right Integrated Marketing Strategy for Your Brand with Freestyle Creative

Integrating traditional media and digital marketing is more than just doing it all. It’s doing the right things at the right time, and it takes skill, experience, and expertise. At Freestyle Creative, we excel in developing comprehensive integrated marketing strategies that deliver real, measurable results for your bottom line. We go beyond the basics with tailored KPI-driven tools to help you refine who you are, where you’re going, and how you’re going to get there.

Freestyle Creative is a full-service marketing agency boasting industry-leading capabilities in traditional media buying and planning as well as digital marketing and optimization, relying on proven techniques and best practices. From television ads and print media to PPC, social media, and more, Freestyle Creative has everything your brand needs to stand out in 2023 and beyond.