Breaking the Barriers between Traditional and Digital Marketing, by Linda Halabi

The growth of digital marketing over the past fifteen years has really changed the marketing game. While traditional marketing has been around for as long as there have been goods to buy and sell, digital marketing is the brash newcomer in the grand scheme of things, making a big splash.

Digital marketing is predicted to be almost twice as large in 2019 as it is now, with US digital marketing spending expected to top $100 billion in the next three years (Source: Forrester).

The amount of online consumers is growing exponentially also, leading to higher demand for digital marketing. For example, China now has over 670 million online consumers and has seen online ad spending nearly double over the past two years (Source: Forrester). The trend of shifting ad budgets from traditional media to digital is happening in the US as well with 71% of companies planning to increase their digital marketing budgets (Source: Econsultancy).

While it’s now abundantly clear that digital marketing and traditional must work in tandem, the challenge marketers face now is managing the mix to get the most out of their marketing budgets. At the same time, customers should receive a seamless brand experience.

Here are recommendations for getting your traditional and digital marketing teams work well together.

1. Establish common goals

Often, digital and traditional marketing teams work in silos. They may even compete for funding or resources. These energies are far better directed outward and toward competition. Rally the troops around a common cause. Get both teams together and discuss ideas for collaboration to achieve common objectives. For particularly frosty relationships, a joint activity like a luncheon, happy hours, or team building exercises might be just the thing needed to break the ice and foster comfort and collaboration. Once the foundation is laid, the teams can start working together to build a cohesive marketing strategy combining digital and traditional tactics.

2. Educate each other

Have each team present their marketing strategies to the other and explain the method to the madness behind their campaigns. This insight will help the digital marketing team better understand the thinking behind the traditional marketing campaigns and vice versa. Gears will start turning, connections will be made, and ideas of how each team can help the other with their campaigns will emerge.

Once each team presents their strategies, the group should take time to step back and discuss where there may be disconnects. From the customer’s perspective, how would they respond to all these different campaigns?

3. Develop an operational model for collaboration

Since each team will be communicating with the other, it will be helpful to know what the hand-offs are and who to go to for different issues or topics. For example, will the traditional marketing teams initiate print campaigns to drive online traffic that the digital team will take over once operational? Are there stages the teams need to work together?

4. Work together on campaigns

With everyone on the same page, it’s time to work together to make the magic happen.

You could start with low hanging fruit. For example, make a physical event such as a conference or a sports event digital by tweeting, sending email updates, and asking live questions on social media. Be sure to analyze results and adjust. Seeing what is working will help both teams focus on where they are achieving success and use that to further develop other unified campaigns.

How are you merging digital and traditional tactics in your marketing strategy? Please share in the comments below — we would love to hear your input!

This is a guest post from Marketing Zen.

Opinions expressed in this blog are of the author and may not represent Cognizant’s point of view.

Linda Halabi

Linda Halabi is a writer and photographer who writes creative content on behalf of the digital marketing experts at Marketing Zen. An…

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Originally published at on July 6, 2016.

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