We need to stop this. I use the term “we” because I myself have often made the distinction between traditional and digital marketing in an attempt to showcase my understanding of this “disruption” and prove my value within an organisation. It’s true, there was a time where music was akin to radio. Books akin to print. And customer feedback was only received over the phone or in person. It’s also true that these forms of content are now solely delivered via digital channels, or at least have a digital element, and customers can now provide instantaneous feedback. However, this gaping chasm we often refer to shouldn’t result in “them being on one side and us on another”, it should be embraced and viewed as an opportunity to add a few more tools to the old arsenal.

It wasn’t too long ago that connecting your digital marketing and traditional activities meant weaving your website or a blue Facebook “thumb” into a TVC. But now we understand that a brand’s online and offline efforts can provide much more value to their audience when working in tandem rather than in silos. Look at McDonald’s recent TV ad in Sweden. Instead of just running a commercial, McDonalds and DDB Stockholm found a way to engage multi-screen viewers by integrating a mobile game into their TV ad. Both the mobile app and the TV schedule were so accurately synced that to the viewer it was if the game was being played in real time. The results were impressive with DDB reporting that the execution turned “…the ads into appointment viewing and boosted smoothie sales 18% over expectations*.”

Beyond delivering significant value for the customer, integrating digital and traditional allows for increased data capture, improved insight generation and rapid iteration to creative. A great example of this is the way in which Doritos used YouTube to determine which Super Bowl ads were most engaging, and then used those insights to ensure that their entire campaign was more effective.

This is why distinguishing between digital and traditional in marketing is outdated. As Mark Pritchard (P&G CMO) succinctly put it , “The era of digital marketing is over. It’s almost dead. It’s now just brand building. It’s what we do.”

*Expectations could have been 0%