Combine Traditional and Digital Marketing to Measure and Improve Results

As a business owner today, you probably know that digital marketing offers many marketing and advertising benefits. While many digital tactics work well, it’s not a good strategy to replace traditional marketing tactics all together.

In order to accomplish your organization’s objectives more efficiently and effectively, it is important to blend the two together.

What is the difference between traditional and digital marketing?

Traditional marketing tactics are generally defined as the tried and true methods used during the golden age of advertising. Imagine a room full of men drinking Manhattans and Martinis while smoking cigarettes, waiting for that inspirational moment to hit when the elusive tagline magically presents itself. Once they have a winner then it’s time for creative to design the artwork and the media department to broadcast it to the world using billboards, magazines, newspapers, mailings, events, and of course radio and television.

Picture the digital marketer. He wears designer glasses and has a dubious amount of facial hair. He tweets, blogs, and attends conferences. He sounds smart, even though you have no idea what he’s trying to say because he continuously talks in acronyms like B2B, B2C, CMS, CPC, CRM, CTA, KPI, PPC, ROI, SEO, blah, blah, blah…

These two different types of marketing seem to come from completely different worlds.

Traditional is from Mars, Digital is from Venus: How could they possibly work together?

They may seem to be miles away from each other–74,402,987 miles in fact. However, when traditional and digital marketing techniques work together, you will get the biggest benefit from your marketing efforts.

To build a better understanding of how to best combine traditional and digital marketing methods, we’ll take a closer look at the 4 Ps marketing mix. More specifically, we’ll look at the the promotional mix, one of the marketing concepts developed by E. Jerome McCarthy in his 1960 book Basic Marketing: A Managerial Approach, a top university marketing textbook since its publication.

The Promotional Mix

The appropriate balance of direct marketing, personal selling, sales promotion, advertising, and publicity are the components that make up the promotional mix. While content isn’t traditionally considered part of the mix, we added it because of the critical role content plays in digital marketing.

In the section below, we list the components that make up the promotional mix and include the best use, pros, cons, and an example of how each can help you reach your business objectives and goals. As you will see, traditional and digital marketing techniques intermingle.


Mailings, telemarketing, email marketing, text marketing, and more.

  • Best use: Direct outreach to prospects in a database or sales list.
  • Pros: Easier to reach specific audiences and measure results.
  • Cons: People are oversaturated with direct marketing offers.
  • Example: You need to create awareness of new products or services that your company offers.


Sales presentations, trade shows, events, social media, webinars, strategic partnerships, and more.

  • Best use: When one on one interaction is critical for selling expensive, technical, or specialized products.
  • Pros: Good salespeople are often the best marketing tools a company can have.
  • Cons: Salespeople can be expensive and take a lot of training.
  • Example: You have an extensive sales cycle and what you are selling requires a large commitment from your buyers.


Discounts, coupons, displays, sample kits, trial offers, landing pages, demonstrations, and more.

  • Best use: Get people to use product more often. Get competitor’s customers to try you out.
  • Pros: Creates immediate results. Useful for testing price sensitivity.
  • Cons: Risks trivializing brand and product. Sales might become dependent on discounted promotions.
  • Example: You are expanding into a new market and want to sell as much product as possible in a short time frame.


Broadcast, print, pay-per-click, outdoor, remarketing, and more.

  • Best use: Introduce audience to new products, features, and uses.
  • Pros: Helps build brand awareness. Can be used to target specific groups of people. Can produce immediate results.
  • Cons: High cost. Results stop when advertising stops. Traditional advertising is difficult to measure.
  • Example: You need to create more brand awareness for your company and what you do.


Media, press, social media, speaking engagements, interviews, and more.

  • Best use: Getting attention for something that is newsworthy.
  • Pros: Objective news media is more trusted. Good for SEO.
  • Cons: High cost. Little control of outcomes.
  • Example: You need to generate more “buzz” or word-of-mouth business.


Blog articles, social media, downloadable guides, educational material, guest articles, and more.

  • Best use: Giving people a reason to learn more about your company, products, and services.
  • Pros: Positioning your company as experts in your industry, builds trust, provides collateral for sales people, you own it, produces long-term results, and more.
  • Cons: Expensive to produce, doesn’t create immediate ROI, people are becoming resistant to exchanging their email address for content.
  • Example: People have a lot of questions about what you sell. Creating a library of answers provides a reason for people to interact with your company and positions you as the expert.

Whichever techniques you choose, think about how you can incorporate them into your online and offline channels. Think about coordinating your website, social media outlets, advertising campaigns, online content, news releases, product brochures, and sales catalogs to produce the most impactful results.

Ten things to consider when creating your promotion mix.

  1. Define your business, marketing goals, and success metrics for each campaign.
  2. List the people you hope to help with your product or service.
  3. Determine where you can best reach your people.
  4. Decide what messages you want to communicate.
  5. Choose your promotional mix.
  6. Integrate your promotional mix in a way that can be measured.
  7. Create the needed marketing content and sales collateral.
  8. Ensure that all messaging is consistent and reinforces your brand.
  9. Broadcast your marketing materials via your promotional mix.
  10. Measure your results, make improvements based on your business and marketing goals, then repeat.

3 Examples of Traditional and Digital Marketing Working Together


Integrate a sales promotion with print advertising and content marketing. Then measure the results using your website while providing your sales team with qualified leads.

To do this, announce an extended warranty program in a trade publication print ad. Use a special URL in your ad that takes people to a landing page on your website. Pull people deeper into your sales funnel by including a form on the landing page for a free resource. The free resource provides a solution for a common problem your customers face. The key is to use a special URL and landing page so you know that people came to your site after seeing your ad.


Create special links and email campaigns for your sales team, targeting contacts from trade shows and events. Incentivize your sales team while tracking the success of your personal selling activities.

To do this, your marketing team will create an email campaign and trackable links for each tradeshow and event your salespeople participate in. Your salespeople will provide your marketing team with their leads. Your marketing team will launch the appropriate campaigns for each lead and track their interest. Your marketing team can provide your salespeople with daily reports so they can monitor interest and decide how to follow up with their leads.


Make your traditional marketing tactics measurable by incorporating a short URL and dedicated phone number. Including both options is important because some people prefer to fill out online forms while others just want to call.

Let’s use jobsite signs and vehicle graphics as an example. Before digital, the only way you would know if somebody saw your sign or vehicle is if they told you. By incorporating a dedicated phone number and short URL you will clearly know how many calls and website visits your outdoor advertising is generating.


Every business is different and so are customers. It is important for you to discover what works for you. You may not get it right the first time either–that’s ok, keep at it! Think of this work as an investment in your long-term growth. As long as you measure your results you will be able to improve your marketing with every iteration. Soon, you’ll be on the right track to creating a very effective marketing strategy that will make you and your business thrive.


Author Warren Diggles is the owner of Diggles Creative. He has extensive marketing experience helping northern Colorado companies in the industrial sector grow since 1996.

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