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Digital marketing is traditional marketing

By Brianna Liestman

Entrepreneur posted an excellent article this week, “Why Digital Marketing is Traditional Marketing.”

The articles asserts that what we have always considered "traditional marketing" is no longer traditional. Digital marketing is not a niche medium but a basic marketing practice, and employment trends and marketing strategies have shifted in a way to show that companies are making changes to reflect the needs of customers.

“While traditional marketing (e.g. direct mail, print, and newspaper) has its place, most customers want access to information when they want it and how they want it

In essence, what we used to think of as ‘traditional marketing’ has now become ‘old school marketing.’ And what we’ve coined ‘digital marketing’ has become the new ‘traditional marketing.’”

It makes me wonder if, when we conduct our annual marketing survey, we should update the language to reflect this shift.

Speaking of our survey, one thing that made me pleased was that, as I was reading this article, I knew that most of our industry gets this.

In fact, in the Top 100 Spotlight in our upcoming June/July issue, Kay Wohltman, marketing manager of Lake Union Sea Ray, says this flat out: “I feel that digital has become traditional. We don’t do anything traditional anymore, in terms of broadcast radio, TV, print, billboards … nothing like that. It’s all online advertising.”

In the Boating Industry marketing survey, among the top five most successful marketing tactics in 2015, only one – unsurprisingly, boat shows – was not digital. Across the board, companies plan to use the same amount of or more digital marketing in the year to come.

This doesn’t mean “old school marketing” isn’t important – many companies still see plenty of success using these methods. What it does mean is that companies shouldn’t rely solely on those methods – digital strategies should, at this point, play into your annual marketing plan in one way or another, even if it is just to support your “old school marketing.”

“Omnichannel marketing has started to blur the lines between print and digital marketing mediums. Print campaigns are still part of the overall omnichannel strategy, but they leverage QR codes, hashtags, websites, and social media icons to drive people back to an online experience.”

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