Why ‘digital marketing’ is actually just ‘marketing’

4 min read 14 August 2019

We work in an industry where ‘digital’ marketing and ‘traditional’ marketing are still treated as two separate silos, but are we reaching a point where ‘digital marketing’ should just be ‘marketing’? Client Services account manager Yasmin Brown gives her thoughts on this much-debated topic.

With 50% of consumers only making purchases after researching products and services online, it begs the question as to why there is a constant persistence to separate offline and online marketing services, rather than have them work together to create a more integrated, holistic way of brand transformation and marketing.

Until now, digital marketing has been an umbrella under which the likes of digital advertising, email campaigns, online brochures, blog posts and social media tend to sit. Today, however, if someone mentions ‘marketing’, we’re more likely to let our minds jump straight to these things (as well as the traditional marketing methods such as direct mail and print ads). Why then are so many still treating ‘digital marketing’ as though it’s a separate entity to just ‘marketing’?

As is often discussed, it’s important to consider our audience’s journey when creating a marketing strategy and campaign and so, when it comes to offline marketing or advertising, there needs to be an end objective which will usually be achieved through online activity. By utilising all platforms available to you as marketers and keeping a happy balance of cross-channel promotion, not only are you optimising your marketing budget, but you’re also guiding your audience through to that final desired conversion.

Global CMO at Calvin Klein and Chief Digital Officer at PVH, Marie Gulin-Merle, believes it’s misleading to discuss digital marketing and traditional marketing as two separate entities. It ‘creates silos within companies where they should be infused’ and is ‘at the core of everything we do’. Creative teams shouldn’t be afraid of tech, rather they should work together to create an optimised marketing campaign that leads to a positive transformation for both your own brand and the brands with which you work.

Considering a customer’s entire journey, an impressive direct mail campaign is great but what is the desired outcome from this DM? Ideally, you’ll want to increase brand exposure, leads, or conversions, three metrics that can easily be tracked following offline efforts if you only take the right preliminary steps. A URL specific to a campaign, for example, can be included on a flyer or a banner, and any traffic or goal conversions that come through that URL can be attributed back to the offline asset or general campaign. The effectiveness of these integrated methods is just as easy to track as a social campaign, for example.

Each of these digital and offline platforms works in conjunction to help create a powerful marketing campaign and to ignore any one of them is to stunt the growth of your brand and limit your possible conversions. As the way consumers make purchases moves further towards digitally driven methods, integration is key.

Think about it. Could it be time for you to start viewing your marketing as an all-encompassing method of brand transformation