How To Integrate Traditional and Digital Advertising

Rapidly evolving technologies in the advertising landscape, such as artificial intelligence (AI), have made it easier to find and reach audiences than ever before. Comparatively, traditional advertising methods such as billboards or print media ads may not be able to reach your target audience as precisely, given that tech and data access can enable your strategy to adapt rapidly, as soon as it observes performance, sentiment changes or new trends. 

But that doesn’t mean there isn’t a place for traditional advertising methods in the new AI-enhanced digital era. On the contrary, omnichannel campaigns can be enhanced with traditional marketing efforts as well as digital advertising, taking advantage of the strengths of each method and synergizing traditional and digital marketing efforts to form a comprehensive strategy – one that can be infused with measurability and performance across formats and channels. 

The Enduring Value of Traditional Advertising

Advertisers can sometimes get a touch of shiny object syndrome, chase the next big thing in advertising technology, and jump on bandwagons like the latest AI craze. While there is value in trying and integrating new methods, channels and technologies to find your audience, there are also reasons that traditional advertising has endured over the decades and continues to stick around, and adapt — it still works, and can complement digital efforts. 

While the habits of consumers evolve and change over the years and consumption of entertainment might look somewhat different thanks to changes in formats and devices, people do continue to read the printed word, listen to audio formats for news or entertainment, and watch broadcast TV, the same as they have been doing for decades. Television, for example, continues to be the second most popular and profitable advertising medium. These are all formats where active audiences can continue to be targeted with many different types of ads. Some consumers also find ads on TV less annoying and also easier to remember than internet ads. 

Value and Evolution of Digital Advertising

A significant amount of advertisers have been increasing their budgets for streaming ads on CTV, which does fall into digital advertising, but marketers are still using TV product placements, sponsorships, and linear TV ads. Sponsored events, a form of traditional marketing, remain strong with 30% of marketers increasing their budgets for that type of advertising.

Marketers have been increasing their budgets for out-of-home advertising as well, which includes traditional static billboard ads as well as digital out-of-home. Non-digital billboard ads are a type of traditional marketing that remains effective, while DOOH ads offer an opportunity to show dynamic content, adding a level of flexibility to marketers. 

While marketing may use a blend of traditional and digital advertising campaigns, depending on their target demographics and other campaign goals, there are benefits to increasing the usage of digital advertising. Digital ads may present a relatively less expensive option because of their precision targeting and measurable and actionable digital analytics. Marketers can use tracking and quicker testing compared to traditional advertising, allowing for implementing quicker changes and getting faster insights from analytics. 

Online marketing may also offer opportunities to target younger audiences, who spend more time online and on mobile devices than older demographics. The ability to test digital ads quicker, the habits of consumers trending toward consuming more digital formats, and target demographics that spend time online make online advertising valuable to marketers.

The future of advertising includes a shift toward more digital than traditional marketing, taking advantage of developing technologies such as predictive analytics, augmented reality, artificial intelligence (AI), and AI-enhanced programmatic advertising. While digital advertising allows for more personalized targeting and informed decisions from digital analytics, marketers can continue to use a blend of traditional and digital marketing, leveraging the strengths of each. 

6 Key Benefits of Integrating Digital and Traditional Advertising

There are many benefits of integrating both digital and traditional advertisements into your campaigns for maximum effectiveness. The following are six key benefits that can bring value to your campaign by using a mixture of traditional and digital marketing channels. 

1. Improves the Performance of Local Campaigns

Potential customers can come from anywhere, including your locality of choice. Though consumers are going online and using their mobile devices more, they will always still appear in public in the offline world. Event marketing, for example, is a way to reach these customers in the real world, at live events. Campaigns targeting local areas can benefit from this mixture of real-world traditional marketing such as event marketing and sponsorships in addition to digital ads that target these same consumers.

Local ad campaigns can include these digital ads:

  • Google Ads with Google Maps and local extensions
  • Social media ads
  • Email marketing
  • Local SEO with local keyword targeting
  • Mobile ads with GPS data

You can also use traditional ads in your local campaign such as:

  • Local event sponsorships
  • Billboards and outdoor signs
  • Direct mail
  • Local newspaper ads
  • Local radio station ads

2. Breaks Through the Clutter and Builds Trust With Your Customers

Advertisers that only show digital ads are missing out when it comes to the traditional ads that can be shown to consumers when they log off. These traditional ads can remind consumers of the brand without cluttering their online experience. The campaign’s message can thus be reinforced through multiple channels in addition to online channels.

Traditional ads are also frequently perceived as being more trustworthy. According to a marketing survey, the top five most trusted ad formats are traditional. Respondents considered these ads trustworthy:

  • Print advertising: 82%
  • TV ads: 80%
  • Direct mail: 76%
  • Radio commercials: 71%
  • Billboards and posters: 69%

Compare those numbers with some digital ads such as online pop-ups, in which only 25% of respondents indicated trustworthiness. Using traditional formats such as the above can build trust with your target audience.

3. Expands Your Campaigns’ Reach

By utilizing both traditional and digital advertising, you can avoid the pitfall of leaving segments of the market untapped and broadly expand your campaign’s reach. By having ads on both online and traditional platforms, your campaign will reach a wider audience. 

A multichannel integration of traditional and digital advertising to expand your brand’s reach can include:

  • Digital billboards with current updates: This combines the traditional method of billboard advertising with digital advertising. 
  • TV ads with social media encouragement: Traditional ads such as TV ads or even print ads can entice viewers or readers to go online to take further action such as following a social media account.
  • QR codes in print media: These are scannable codes that people can scan on their mobile devices to open a URL, launch a digital experience, or enable direct conversions.
  • Radio ads and online follow-up: You can combine traditional media such as radio ads with digital ads and retargeting online ads to remind users of the message.
  • Direct mail with online incentives: Traditional media such as print mailers can entice the reader to visit an e-commerce store or other online source.

Using a healthy combination of the above ads and other traditional and digital marketing integrations can vastly expand the reach of your campaign and reach an audience you could have missed out on.

4. Enhances the Effectiveness of Your Marketing Efforts

Your marketing efforts can be enhanced by utilizing both traditional marketing tactics and digital marketing tactics, both online and offline. Integrating the two can provide the best of both worlds, allowing you to use the strengths of each where they are most relevant and successful. You can also combine the two in a single campaign. 

For example, you can run teaser internet video ads and then run the full ads on TV. That way, you can get your audience to see the ad first from online sources and then encourage them to catch the full ad on more traditional advertising such as on TV. 

5. Helps Shape a Holistic Perception of Your Brand

Most brands will spend at least a small amount of time and effort on their online platforms, especially if the target audience is younger and spends more time online and on social media platforms. However, those same people who spend time on social media, as well as a broader audience, spend time out in the real world as well. 

When your target audience sees your brand online and on traditional sources as well, they can see a well-rounded image of the brand. The brand appears in many different places and different formats. The full message is communicated across multiple channels, providing a holistic perception of your brand.

6. Provides Robust Data To Inform Your Marketing Decisions

Insights can come from a variety of sources and the more sources you have, the more accurate the data will be. The data from extensive digital analytics can help you make marketing decisions for your non digital marketing campaigns. Use the data from digital ads, such as click-through rate (CTR) and conversion rates, and test different formats and messages to see which messages and ads are meaningful to your audience. The insights you glean from digital advertising can often be applied to make your traditional ad strategies and messaging more effective. 

How To Integrate Traditional and Digital Advertising

You’ve read about why traditional advertising continues to be as valuable as digital advertising, even in this day and age of rapidly evolving technologies. But how can you merge the two effectively and make use of both digital and traditional marketing channels? 

Create a Strategic Marketing Plan

The first step to integrating traditional with digital marketing is to make a strategic marketing plan. It may be helpful to work with a full-service partner like AUDIENCEX who can help you ensure that your strategy is on target, every step of the way.

  1. Define your goals: What is the desired result of the campaign? Set measurable goals.
  2. Perform market research: Research competitors and see what works with their campaigns. AUDIENCEX is currently offering a complimentary competitive audit that can help you get started on this crucial step.
  3. Define your target audience: Your existing audience data can provide a wealth of information. Privacy-safe tools such as AUDIENCEX Intelligence (AXi), leveraged by our data science experts, can rapidly analyze your first-party data to provide valuable behavioral insights and identify audiences you may have overlooked.
  4. Form a budget: Divide your budget between traditional and digital formats. Strategists can leverage technology, data, and of course their own wealth of expertise, to recommend the ideal allocation of your spend based on your specifically defined goals.
  5. Decide your mix of strategies: Taking your goals, channels, and budget into account, strategies will be developed for traditional and digital channels with their own specific metrics for performance, building toward your overall holistic goals.
  6. Run your ads: Creative should be developed with your strategy and goals in mind, and optimized for each channel and placement. Your audience insights can help inform traditional creative, while also fueling personalization on digital channels to drive conversions.
  7. Set a schedule: The increasingly fragmented customer journey will be taken into account when scheduling your campaign launches on each channel, ensuring that they build off one another to create wider awareness and drive results. For example, you may launch ads in a specific region to build awareness ahead of sending out a direct mail campaign designed to drive conversions.
  8. Measure the results: On every channel, your ads and performance will be monitored along the way, and this will be used to optimize across all channels. Even traditional channels can be measured with methods such as brand lift studies. 

Identify Your Target Audience and Create Personas

Identify where your target customers can be found and what they are looking for by running surveys or analyzing past data. Remember that your audience personas, which should be informed by objective data and audience insights, may differ by format. For example, a typical newspaper reader may be older than the typical social media user.  Use these personas to serve relevant and meaningful content that gets leads to take further action, whether online or offline.

Pair Billboards With Mobile Marketing Strategies

Mobile marketing strategies can be congruent with billboard advertising considering that those who are out of home will typically have their mobile devices ready to search whichever topic is on a billboard that grabs their interest. Modern billboards often include direct calls to action, beyond phone numbers or URLs, such as a QR code that can direct them to a mobile experience. 

For example, if there is a local event such as a public speaker or entertainer visiting the area, a billboard can use a QR code, in addition to a URL, to direct users instantly to a mobile-first landing page where they can find more information on the event and buy tickets. 

Make the Best out of Newspapers’ Online Presence

Newspapers continue to offer their print media while also offering their content on websites and social media accounts. Ads can run alongside news stories online, just as they can be run within the print media on the page. Many readers may read the printed paper and also subscribe to the online edition, while others are only subscribed to view online content.

Many papers will offer advertising opportunities that include digital advertising on the paper’s website, ads in the printed paper, and even sponsored content that most typically appears online. This can provide a holistic opportunity to target all demographics of that newspaper’s readers.

Encourage Viewers of Traditional Ads To Take Online Actions

Potential customers may be found on traditional channels but those leads typically do not stay offline. People who view traditional ads can be encouraged to visit online stores, landing pages, social media sign-ups, newsletter subscriptions, and other digital media. 

Using clear calls to action or a QR code in a newspaper, magazine, poster, or other physical media, you can drive users toward specific online pages to take further action, such as seeking more information or making an immediate purchase. It can easily be determined where users are coming from by using unique URLs for different ads in different placements, providing some insight into these formerly offline users’ pathways.

Direct Online Traffic to Physical Locations

Similar to using traditional advertising to drive users to digital sources, the reverse can be true as well. You could launch a social media campaign to drive awareness leading up to a local event. You could reach out to email subscribers in a specific location to inform them of a popup that your brand will be coordinating in their area. You could also use a programmatic digital campaign to drive consumers to your brand’s physical locations.

For example, if you were advertising for a retailer that wanted to drive in-store traffic, you could launch a digital ad campaign targeting a specific region. You could even take advantage of high impact creative formats to include interactivity that let users explore products and even find nearby store locations, directly within the ad itself.

Use Online Data To Inform Your Traditional Marketing Campaigns

You can analyze data from online ads, which have robust analytics, to make informed decisions on traditional marketing campaigns. The larger a data set you have, the better-informed decisions you can make, including for your traditional advertising. That’s why our AXi tools leverage the industry’s largest privacy-safe, fully consented data set – by cross-referencing your own audience data with this information, it’s possible to gather predictive insights on segments who are most likely to convert.

You can also monitor the performance of your digital campaigns to inform your traditional strategies. With creative testing, it’s possible to find the message and visuals that perform best with your audience on digital channels, and then use that data to inform the creative development for your traditional ad placements.

Deliver True Omnichannel Performance 

When developing an effective strategy to drive performance across both traditional and digital channels, it’s important to have an experienced advertising partner with the expertise and access you need. That means not just access to programmatic platforms, but search and social, audio, CTV, print, linear television, radio, traditional out-of-home, and countless other channels. In addition to media access, it’s vital to have the latest in AI-enabled technology, privacy-safe data, and analytics capabilities, as well as exceptional, tech-enabled creative services.

To provide every aspect of advertising service and access needed to drive performance throughout the entire landscape, AUDIENCEX has recently joined forces with MBuy through a strategic merger. As a result, both teams now offer a wider range of advanced capabilities to deliver performance across every channel, delivering an experience that is centered on your audience to drive real, tangible results through holistic performance. We can handle all aspects of developing an integrated, effective omnichannel strategy, including and by no means limited to, all the introductory points that are covered in this article.

With advanced expertise in digital and traditional strategy, emergent technology, privacy-safe data access, and our award-winning aX Studio creative team, we have developed an advanced and all-encompassing offering that can help you meet and exceed any goal, across any and every channel. Reach out today to learn how our combined teams and expanded capabilities can help your brand or agency deliver real performance.