Everything Is "With" Not "Instead Of"

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Want to know if the Digital Marketing agency you’re working with truly understands the "marketing" part of your business equation?

All you have to do is see how well that Digital Marketing agency integrates with everything you’re currently doing – from campaigns to other agencies. If all your Digital Marketing shop does is try to tell you that the "old ways" of Marketing and Communication simply don’t work anymore, and you need to be shifting all of your marketing dollars to the online world, please do show them the door.

Digital Marketing is not the silver bullet. Digital Marketing is not the only marketing a brand should be doing.

Branding works. Traditional mass media advertising words. Direct Marketing works. PR works. And every other niche of Marketing, Advertising and Communications still works too. It’s a matter of understanding the strategy of the brand, the marketplace of your consumer and then implementing a healthy strategy that will help you achieve your business goals and ROI. Yes, for some brands, that will mean a heavier focus on the Digital Marketing component, but it might also mean looking at your market from a different perspective. And yes, because of the growth of Internet usage and the multitude of new opportunities, Digital Marketing definitely deserves a seat at the adult table of a proper marketing mix.

Everything is "with" not "instead of."

Some of the brands understand this so well. I’ve been in meetings where a CMO has shown me how their 30-second spot drives sales (and when they stop the TV advertising, the sales plummet) and how their Social Media activity keeps the interest and loyalty in-between and during campaigns. It’s that healthy balance that we all too often forget about. Just the other day (March 24th, 2010, to be exact), eMarketer had a news item titled, Combining the Strengths of Social and E-Mail, which stated:

“‘Even though people are spending more time using social media, they are not abandoning e-mail,’ said Debra Aho Williamson, eMarketer senior analyst and author of the new report, Maximizing the E-Mail/Social Media Connection. ‘The two channels can help each other, offering the opportunity for marketers to create deeper connections.’ More than four in 10 business executives surveyed by StrongMail said integrating e-mail and social was one of their most important initiatives for 2010, just after improving e-mail performance and targeting and growing opt-in lists."

And you thought email was dead.

No marketing channel is dead. Some are tired. Some are not being used to their best of their ability. Some Marketers are very lazy. But, those who are really treating their Marketing like the art that it is are developing, nurturing and experiencing a masterpiece. Never before have Marketers had this many amazing, interesting and measurable tools to do our trade.

The trick is in not getting caught up in the latest shiny object, but in getting re-caught up with metrics, measurement, a healthy marketing mix and results.


  1. Mitch, you have said a mouth full. As I continue to consult with people I find the same thing that even though we’ve had a good couple of years to get proficient with social media, many don’t see how it fits into their overall marketing strategy. I think the problem for many marketers is often not just laziness but it is being too busy to be creative.
    And with the tried and true ways you could rely on some things to prove that you are accomplishing something like banner ads and CPM. Even with email you can analyze the death out of a campaign. So with social media if I spend too much time trying to figure out what I’m going to get from any particular action, then I’m not just doing and just being involved in my online communities. I just fired a customer who is a productivity guru so everything has to have a way to tie it to a result. For them it was hard to get social media in the mix.
    I love marketing for the opportunity to just think of ways to communicate with a purpose to whatever the audience is. And social media fits very nicely into the more traditional marketing approaches.
    Howver, what do you think about cold calling as a marketing strategy? I absolutely think that is dead (good riddance!)!

  2. Good article, Mitch. I also think more than ever, it is critical to have a deep understanding of your target audience and what makes them tick. In order to hold down costs, you need to carefully spend your marketing budgets. Wasting it on a TV ad when your audience is on FaceBook is a waste of money. And insights are critical for your email campaigns too.

  3. Mitch… I totally agree with your perspective…
    As the impact of traditional advertising declines and influential “consumer wizards” (those who regularly use technology to do their shopping) further shape and define our retail marketplace, we are focusing on ‘new media’ solutions that can draw in the most savvy consumer cohort in history. This includes enhancing our shopper marketing strategies; delivering on-demand product comparisons and recommendations; creating unique and richer connections between products and digital experiences; connecting print advertising, OOH, digital and augmented reality; and finally, fundamentally transforming marketing and media communications to cross-channel, participatory, interactive and two-way mediums.
    The key for us (St. Joseph Content) – as the consumer moves towards mutli-touch, multi-delivery, 360-degree product and service experiences – is to deliver relevant messaging along the consumer’s ‘path to purchase’. We continue to deliver enhanced traditional and digital marketing solutions for retailers and brands in balanced, measured and optimized ways – at home, on-the-go and in-store.
    There are no channels that are dead. You must leverage both traditional and digital to optimize impact.
    Michael Chase – VP Marketing, Sales & Creative – St. Joseph Content

  4. Mitch
    I think this is right…except that digital is so much bigger than simply the old frame of marketing/advertising/PR. Companies need to develop entire strategies around the concept of how they actually Go To Market online. How they understand and serve customers, how they optimize user experience and content strategy, how they engage with prospects through social interaction — all these areas are miles outside of the scope of a traditional advertising, direct, PR or even digital shop.
    What I see lacking is the kind of partner that can help a client solve those problems holistically. It’s hard. Client organization and governance issues come into play. But it’s also where the biggest need lies. Every agency out there is good at doing ‘stuff’. What’s lacking is the partner who can figure out why they should do it.

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