Although it seems like traditional marketing methods like print, mail, etc. are obsolete, they can still work, depending on who you are and who you need to reach. But when you add social media monitoring and data to your traditional methods, they work even better.

Keep the best, update the rest

“Traditional” isn’t a dirty word. Just because the digital space is wide, varied, and full of great insights, doesn’t mean you want to just toss your print and TV budgets into the wind. Even traditional research techniques, like focus groups, can still be useful if you’re trying to reach certain market segments.

What the evolution of marketing offers is the opportunity to deepen bonds forged with consumers across other marketing channels, and reach them more effectively and efficiently at every turn.

Depending on your business and clientele, an “old school” method like direct mail might be the most effective means of communication. But in most cases, there’s room for a marriage of tactics, especially if your audience spans multiple generations:

“The quality of opinion you can get from different demographics varies wildly on social. While we can gather solid insights on [consumers] 18-44 (ish), we get much better insights from 45+ with traditional research.” – Scott Reitzel

So it depends on who you’re trying to reach. But there are always exceptions – and that’s where social data can shine a spotlight.

Use everything to include everyone

While sometimes you can reach an older audience with traditional methods, it doesn’t mean that no one over the age of 40 is online. As important as demographics are in establishing a baseline, not everyone fits into the same mold. Thus, using social monitoring and social selling tools online to reach out to older groups is still essential.

Meanwhile, if you want to talk to Generation Z and Millennials, digital campaigns are best, but not exclusively so. Using traditional methods – like television commercials – with an updated approach can also work. One customer called out Geico for doing this effectively with their pre-roll ads, which poke fun at consumers’ shrinking attention spans, noting:

Generation Z doesn’t want to spend the same time being advertised to [as Gens X and Y]. You have a very short window to get their attention and show them the product, so use the little time you have.” – Alex Ostrovsky

The Geico “unskippable” ads work because even though they fall into a traditional category (video, aka TV), they take into account updated preferences of their target audience. At the same time, they’re making fun of themselves and self-aware Millennials – something they couldn’t have done without knowing their audience had a sense of humor and could appreciate a little teasing.

This is the beauty of social listening tools – you can find out very detailed information about what your audience wants, who they are, and even the language they use, to build an authentic relationship with them.

Traditional marketing research and techniques can’t offer that level of insight without a LOT of effort – and certainly not in real-time. That’s why the goal is to combine the old and the new in whatever ways make sense for your brand – which our customers are already doing:

“I’ve been playing with audience fingerprint to find ways that give us insights into our target markets without using surveys. Nielsen data can help with some of that but it tends to be not as specific as the data we can pull from social.” – Katherine Jacoby

And it’s the specific data that allows you to craft the best messaging.

Don’t just speak – communicate

“Specific data” is what it takes to offer the personalized messaging consumers now demand – no matter the channel. Traditional marketing strategies still have their place – but social media listening will boost their effectiveness.

Because nothing beats reaching your audience with targeted, individualized messaging that speaks to the things THEY most care about. Wherever and however it’s delivered.

Need to see it in action? Request a demo of our newest tool, Audience 3D™, and see what it can add to your strategy. And don’t forget to check back next week for the next in our Marketing Evolution series of posts.  

Image from Duncan Hull


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