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The Misconception of Exclusively Digital Marketing

In the realm of marketing, a prevalent misconception among digital marketers is their overconfidence in the Internet’s supremacy. They often erroneously believe that digital platforms have rendered traditional marketing principles and mediums obsolete. This attitude leads to a significant oversight, as they disregard the lucrative opportunities presented by direct mail, print advertising, and Direct Response broadcasting. Consequently, such a narrow focus can result in their businesses losing market share.

Think Marketing Strategy

Remember, Digital is just a Market Tactic to consider as a part of the wider Market Strategy.

One of the best marketers I’d say is Professor Mark Ritson. He is a renowned figure in the field of marketing, known for his expertise and insightful contributions. He has made a significant impact through his work, which blends academic rigor with practical industry experience. Ritson is widely recognized for his engaging and thought-provoking commentary on various marketing topics, often challenging established norms and encouraging innovative thinking. His approach to marketing is both analytical and critical, making him a respected voice in the industry.

In the article by Mark Ritson on Marketing Week, he critiques Gary Vaynerchuk’s views on media, particularly Vaynerchuk’s emphasis on social media over traditional TV advertising. Ritson argues that Vaynerchuk’s approach is overly simplistic and ignores the value and effectiveness of TV advertising. He challenges Vaynerchuk’s claims with empirical data, showing that a combination of TV and digital media often yields better results than solely focusing on digital platforms. Ritson emphasises the continued relevance of traditional TV advertising and suggests that a balanced media strategy is more effective.

For a detailed read, you can view the full opinion piece, Gary Vaynerchuk is wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong about media.

It’s crucial to understand that digital marketing is not a standalone strategy; it’s merely a focus on the digital channel. This limited view neglects a wealth of established marketing knowledge, which has been validated through continuous and rigorous testing. The situation is exacerbated by the fact that younger marketers, in particular, often have little to no understanding of how traditional media operates.

While the Internet undeniably plays a critical role in the marketing mix, focusing solely on digital ROI does not suffice to meet overarching sales objectives. Companies heavily reliant on digital media frequently reach out for assistance in achieving their sales targets. Despite being profitable, they struggle to deeply penetrate their target markets and outperform competitors through digital marketing alone.

A crucial question arises: is it more beneficial to attain a 40% margin on $1,000,000 in sales exclusively through the Internet, or to earn a 20% margin on $10,000,000 by leveraging all available channels? In most cases, relying solely on the Internet falls short of meeting the top line sales objectives of organisations.

Digital is Just a Tactic

Digital media, in isolation, cannot and will not replace traditional media. Digital marketers tend to specialize in a single medium, neglecting the profitable channels that have evolved from proven advertising strategies. The bigger issue at hand extends beyond a mere comparison of digital versus traditional, or even omnichannel marketing. It’s about embracing what I term ‘omnistrategy marketing’.

Omnistrategy marketing encompasses two principal approaches: positioning and direct marketing strategies. These strategies can operate independently, but they are often more effective when combined. Under these overarching strategies, both traditional and digital marketing are employed to achieve sales and profit goals. Positioners, also known as awareness advertisers, and direct marketers utilize all channels to maximize their campaign impacts.

Positioners might rely solely on traditional or digital media, or a combination of both. Direct marketers have similar choices. Response rates are enhanced with omnichannel support, and general advertisers can boost product demand through effective positioning. However, there’s a lack of understanding about how these two main strategies differ and how they can be synergistically employed.

Positioning-focused advertising is characterized by a lack of databases and analytics, reliance on primary research, and often ineffectively targets mass markets. In contrast, general advertisers sometimes incorporate direct marketing, but often inefficiently. They view direct marketing as a tactical activity, neglecting its potential as a multichannel strategy and overlooking the importance of offers and direct sales accountability.

Conversely, when companies use direct marketing as their primary strategy without the support of awareness advertising, they depend on direct response advertising to generate demand and sales. This approach is characterised by less emphasis on positioning and aesthetics, more focus on customer data analysis for targeting, and reliance on A/B split testing for continual improvement. Direct marketing extends beyond direct mail and is the only strategy that offers true sales accountability. Modern direct marketers recognise how combining positioning and awareness can improve response rates. In conclusion, enhancing results through omnistrategy marketing, which integrates the best of positioning and direct marketing strategies, is crucial. This approach should include the integration of new media into the marketing mix.

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