According to Jim Collins, US researcher, author, speaker and consultant: “Highly visionary companies… do not oppress themselves with what we call the ‘Tyranny of the Or’… the ‘Tyranny of the Or’ pushes people to believe that things must be either A or B, but not both… instead, highly visionary companies liberate themselves with the ‘Genius of the And’”.
What does this mean in marketing?
Back in the early 1990s, before digital marketing really began to grow, we had above-the-line and below-the-line advertising. The internet, in all its world-changing domination, cut through that. Suddenly companies were talking about digital-first and waxing lyrical about the benefits of digital versus traditional marketing.
This created a false dichotomy. With separate teams of tech whizzes and digital marketing budgets, marketers are only now beginning to realise they missed an opportunity to do both.
“Like air and drinking water, being digital will be noticed only by its absence, not its presence”
More and more, everything is digital. More than 50% of radio listening is done via the internet and more than 65% of news media is consumed online. Outdoor advertising is via smart LED screens and everyone, everywhere, is connected – a trend we’re increasingly seeing in retail.
As we move into the digital age, as architect Nicholas Negroponte said: “Like air and drinking water, being digital will be noticed only by its absence, not its presence.”
Instead of focusing on endless battles about which is the best channel, we need to be embracing an abundance mentality. Marketers need to focus on integrated marketing campaigns.
As most marketers know, there is no best channel. The answer, like most things in marketing, is: ‘It depends.’ Different channels meet different audience preferences and most big claims should be approached with a healthy dose of scepticism. There is no magic bullet.
With that in mind, the savviest marketers adopt a two-speed approach, investing in channels that drive long-term brand awareness, such as PR, sponsorship and print, and combining that with short-term incremental uplift channels, such as email and paid search.
The best marketers go in open-minded, looking at the job to be done and making sure there is a proper diagnosis before selecting the best tool for it.
One step further than that, though, is the power of synergy between channels. Like most things in life, diversity works. Two channels combined are usually more effective than one on its own. This increases incrementally – more channels, more lift.
When it comes to marketing in the digital age, for effective campaigns it’s not or – it’s both. This approach also avoids burning out one channel; finding the maximum efficacy for each channel and then combining it with others increases reach and results across the entire campaign.
At Retail Week Connect, we’ve got years of experience building these integrated campaigns to position your company as thought leaders in retail. To learn more, check out some of our latest campaigns.