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Why Social And Traditional Media Marketers Should Stop Bitching

Social media is not the only marketing game in town despite a lot of social media mavens drinking the cool aid and touting it as leading advertising to the promotional promised land.

Traditional marketers think that social and new media is an over hyped fad that will eventually go away and is something to be quietly ignored like a noisy teenager.Why Social And Traditional Media Marketers Should Stop Acting Like Fighting Lovers

The fact is the truth lies in the middle and both have their strengths and weaknesses and need to be blended and integrated into a marketing mix that has trust, leverage and longevity.

The Challenge For Social Media

The challenge for social media is that it is difficult to scale quickly unless you are lucky enough to get a YouTube video to go viral or a Tweet to turn into a tornado, if that happens it is quite often for all the wrong reasons, such as the bad PR United Airlines received for breaking Dave Carroll’s guitar which currently has  nearly 10 million YouTube views.

Organic free social media marketing can take months and sometimes years to scale as people fan your company on Facebook, follow you on Twitter and subscribe to your corporate blog.

Sure you can accelerate your social media marketing with paid banners on Facebook, hyper-linked to a landing page or run sponsored Tweets on Twitter but it cannot compare to an ad on the Oprah Winfrey show appearing in front of 48 million viewers in a 1 hour spot or a Super Bowl advertisement that goes to almost every house in the land on one afternoon in February.

Why Traditional Marketing Works

Traditional advertising such as TV can produce large scale results quickly and for that advantage it can charge big dollars. The challenge though is once the ads are run on television they are gone and need to be paid for again for people to view them.

The Advantages Of Social Media Marketing

“Social” and “New” media’s advantages over traditional marketing lie in several areas

  1. Permanency – it’s on the web for ever archived on servers, websites and blogs for eternity. As they say “what happens in Vegas stays on Facebook.. YouTube or Twitter!!”
  2. Trust – social media because it is typically shared by friends can generate trust levels of  70% or more whereas paid mass advertising is around the 15% level.
  3. Engagement – people can respond and interact via a Tweet, Facebook update or a blog comment and that is a heavy hitter in terms of memory retention and impact. People remember much more by doing rather than just viewing passively.
  4. Ongoing leverage – it can be continued to be shared long after it has been published and take on a life of its own.

The Old Spice campaign “The Man Your Man Should Smell Like” would not have became a phenomenon it did if it was only on TV but ensuring that it was available on YouTube was a simple stroke of genius as it continues to spread its message long after the TV campaign was run with over 28 million views 11 months later for just one of the videos in the series. The “Evian Roller Babies” campaign is still on YouTube with 33 million views.

The Principles Of Good Marketing

The principles of good marketing such as a great headline have not gone away with some of  the key elements of marketing that are eternal such as being

  • Memorable
  • Entertaining
  • Creative
  • Emotional
  • Leveraged
  • Trusted

are still required for marketing success and that is never going to disappear. It is just that media channels that deliver those messages and will continue to evolve and change as the web weaves itself further into our economy and lives.

How To Integrate Social And Traditional Marketing

Integration of the traditional media with the new social media requires a fresh and uninhibited way of thinking and the challenging of the old paradigms.

If you are running a seminar, record it and put it on YouTube. When you send out your email marketing newsletter link it to your blog, website or a landing page with a call to action and make it easy for it to be shared on Twitter and Facebook.

So its time for the lovers to stop fighting because they deserve to be together. It just working out the terms of the relationship and how they integrate their lives so both can bring something to the table and live in synergistic successful bliss.

How do you think that traditional marketing should be integrated with social and new media? What are your experiences?

Image by Ed Yourdon

Jeffbullas's Blog


  • Amy A. Atkinson

    Great article, Jeff. The push for “next viral video” is irrestistible for many businesses. Then there are the social media doubters … It is like most successful marketing plans: it is all in the mix. You are correct to remind us all that the principles of good marketing don’t change, even if we vary the channel depending upon our audience, need and/or situation. Keep the articles coming, Jeff. Yours really are some of my favorites.

  • same here. i also have same opinion as you have.

  • same here. i also have same opinion as you have.

  • Anonymous

    which just goes to show that social media is more about sales then marketing, (a marriage which has been on the rocks for decades…..oh…no… did I mention the S word? not hard but soft sales, relationship building….all technology sales pros know it takes time to build the relationship…)

  • Asmith

    Great post Jeff.  I think the key is to keep the conversation going long after the ad has run.  Its like traditional advertising is a quick date but social media can take the date all the way to the freaking alter!  If marketers can find ways to keep campaigns going long after the first initial high we’ll see more successes.  Too many campaigns stop at having a quick burst in fans when theres so much more they can do with those added fans that gets lost

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  • Quick question, if principles of good marketing are all applied, do you think bankruptcy could be avoided? It would be better if so.

  • Hi Jeff,

    As a woman who works at an agency that has feet squarely in new media and traditional media, I have to say that not all traditional agencies think social media is a fad. I believe firmly (as you indicate here) that the ideal marketing now would include traditional marketing tactics supplemented with social media or other new marketing tactics.

  • Taking the best of both worlds. Great advice.

  • at the end of the day, they’re all channels to deliver content… and the best channel for each type of content isn’t the same. Use whichever gives the best results, but use at least two other platforms as feeders. One surprising return contender, for me, has been low-cost direct mailings. Postcards are surprisingly effective – and unlike most media, has extremely predictable ROIs.

  • I think it is still very early days

  • Hansoftech

    Awesome blog

  • Traditional marketing and social marketing are both helpful ways of campaign by a company. Any business that does not adapt to the new era of marketing and communications is in danger of losing out. However, whilst I am passionate about all things digital I suggest you don’t blinker your vision and miss out on any traditional media that your customers and prospects use and what currently works. So, yeah. While they can both help, they should also stop comparing each other and create a fight that is not worth fighting for. Great article! Kuddos!