Why it is important to integrate digital and traditional channels through the customer life cycle.

Customer Lifecycle refers to the journey that customers take while interacting with your business/brand. This starts from the time that they first find out about your brand, to the time that they complete the desired action (i.e. purchase, sign-up, etc.) and also their post-action behavior, including repeat purchases and brand loyalty.

Digital Marketing and Digital Marketing channels

Digital Marketing focuses on how the audience interacts with the brand through digital means such as the 5 Ds:

  • Digital devices – phones, tablets, laptops, desktop computers, TVs, gaming consoles, virtual assistants such as Amazon Alexa and Google Home, etc.).
  • Digital Platforms – websites and apps e.g. apps for social media, entertainment, banking, insurance, etc.
  • Digital Media – paid searches, SEO, emails, and social networks.
  • Digital Data – (protected by law) collection of data about audiences and their interactions with the brand.
  • Digital Technology – the marketing technology that is used to create interactive experiences for customers.

Digital Marketing channels are how you reach your audiences such as through Search Engine Marketing (SEM), Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Social Advertising, Email Marketing, and Mobile Marketing e.g. in-app marketing.

Traditional Marketing and Traditional Marketing Channels

Traditional Marketing refers to the forms of marketing that were more prevalent prior to the digital age. This includes marketing channels such as outbound calls, TV ads, radio ads, magazines, newspapers, catalogs, billboards, etc. While these channels are not as prevalent now, may be more costly, and may have a narrower reach, however, they are still useful and beneficial depending on your business type and target audience.  

Why it is important to integrate both types of marketing channels

It is important to integrate both digital channels and traditional channels throughout the customer life-cycle because this enables you to reach your audience in different ways, provides options that are in line with the audience’s preference for how they want to be marketed to (i.e. online or offline interaction), provides for more opportunities for conversion, provides more opportunities for experiential interactions, and provides opportunities for interaction with customers and eliciting their engagement and emotional responses.

An example of how you can integrate both channels would be promoting a post on social media platforms teasing about a new product. You can also develop a game where customers guess the new product or new features etc. Then in the post and game, you direct the audience to watch out for a TV commercial during the Super Bowl or some other big event to find out what this new product/feature is. This builds anticipation and promotes customer engagement with the brand.

Conclusion

Using only one form of marketing channel (e.g., only digital, or only traditional) can severely limit the capabilities of your brand and lead to missed opportunities for growth.

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