Traditional vs. Digital Marketing

Guest blog from Daniel Dunn, founder of Paperplanes and speaker at our upcoming eCommerce MasterPlan Virtual Summit

As marketers we love the new. We really love the new.  We welcome change, we want to stay ahead of our customers and reach out to them in ways that we feel will impact them. New things catch peoples’ eyes, and a big part of our job as marketers is to catch eyes.

We’ve all been in meetings talking about areas such as 3D printing because it’s new, and as marketers, I repeat, we love the new. Don’t even get me started on millennials, a new ‘segment’ that we can reach with ‘new’ tech (3D printers maybe) – manna from heaven.

Does this matter? Yes. It matters because we should be focusing on what works, not just what’s new. Digital marketing techniques have opened huge opportunities for targeting people and measuring their response to our marketing efforts. For the most part it has been enormously disruptive, enabling challenger brands to reach huge amounts of people for a fraction of the financial outlay that would have occurred before the internet existed. But this doesn’t mean that traditional doesn’t also work, in fact, it all works when executed right. Did you know that on average, 73% of customers prefer direct mail as an advertising method (SemaGroup,2016), and 87% were influenced to make an online purchase as a result of direct mail (Marketing Week, 2016).

Marketers should be agnostic when it comes to traditional or digital, and focus on what works for the segment they’re are trying to reach and the budgets they have. Committing to ‘digital only’ feels ideological, when all we should be worried about as marketers is how to sell more. And that’s it. As marketers are being drawn more and more to digital, the end consumer is starting to get better at ignoring banner ads and emails. This presents an opportunity for savvy players to market in ways the consumer hasn’t tuned out – like direct mail.

Ultimately both traditional and digital work. And that’s what marketers should focus on: what works.

At Paperplanes we use digital marketing tech (programmatic) to support traditional marketing techniques (direct mail) making both work together to help our clients sell more – and it works.