Mixed Media Marketing: Why Businesses Should Blend Traditional & New Media Channels
Since the turn of the century, established marketing channels have been vying with their more compelling digital offspring to win more of your marketing budget. But is the decision really that binary?
It's no secret that digital marketing channels offer a lot. Marketers are able to gather and analyze much more data, providing deeper insights into both the individual customer journey and wider consumer behavior. This changes how most companies plan and execute promotional campaigns.
Contrary to popular belief, however, this data doesn't end with digital media. Being able to define the most effective ways to communicate with customers and take advantage of multiple channels, online and out in the real world, makes media alignment more important than ever.
Your customer isn't limited to exclusively digital or traditional media, which means neither should you be. Delivering mixed media marketing campaigns helps your business to react quickly to changes in consumer behavior and reach your buyers in multiple places with the same campaign.
The Importance of Mixed Media Marketing
Very few businesses can succeed with only one promotional channel in place. In almost every case of a well-known brand, whether on the local or national level, you'll find marketing campaigns that cross channels and use the unique aspects of different media formats to create a better campaign.
But while mixed media marketing is clearly important, a Millward Brown study in 2015 found that only 25% of brand marketers are confident they've achieved the right blend.
One of the primary reasons for this is the sheer number of options. Quite simply, it can be overwhelming for decision makers, especially business owners, to know which channel is going to yield results. From events and out-of-home advertising to e-mail and online ads, balancing channels and budget can be tricky.
That being said, there's no rule that states every business must get the mix right on the first try. Over time, a little early research and experimentation with different channels will get you moving in the right direction.
Here are three steps that will help you get the ball rolling:
- Let customers lead: Understand your ideal buyers and where they gather. This is the first step to connecting with potential customers and navigating the channels that will consistently reach them in a cost-effective way. Do some research to understand the platforms they use, as well as getting a feel for the time and/or money you'll have to invest to reach them there.
- Be selective with social: Although some platforms offer compelling returns, others will be a waste of your time. Be picky and only select the most effective social networks for your business.
- Set your metrics: Once you've chosen the channels you expect to yield the best results, define performance metrics to assess their contribution. Track progress and adjust the mix as necessary to maximize success.
Traditional and new media marketing channels might seem as though they're in direct competition, but the reality is that aligning the two is the best way to achieve real marketing results.
Every platform has something to offer, though not all of them will be an advantage that your business can use. If the audience you're trying to reach doesn't intersect with a certain channel, you'll see that and be able to discount it fairly quickly.
Mixed media marketing takes time to develop. Do your homework and use your gut instinct to get started, then develop performance metrics and meet regularly with your marketing team. Discuss which channels are working and those that you can afford to get rid of. Through a steady course of experimentation and data-driven decisions, you'll begin to find the right marketing blend for your business.
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