Blending traditional with social media: A holistic approach

Social media has evolved past marketing novelty and is now a mainstay in consumer branding strategies. While this concept has certainly established a solid foothold with brand managers and in the advertising world, the challenge for the modern marketer is to find that so-called sweet spot—the perfect mix between time-tested one-to-many media and new, engagement-driving one-to-few or one-to-one social strategies.

In an era in which experimentation has become a requisite and risk is absolute, how does a brand effectively utilize social marketing to amplify its core message and maximize campaign effectiveness?

Although there is no exact science behind a successful hybrid of traditional and social media, the concept of a holistic, blended marketing approach is one that permits more meaningful brand interactions and deeper relationships with target consumers.

It’s in this quest for a winning combination of media that the notions of effectiveness, relevancy, and scalability become key, while the pressure for sustainability and growth mounts. Today, campaigns need to be as elastic as they are genuine and ingenious.

The result is a fluid process in which reliable platforms are paired with new technologies and active listening and flexibility are pivotal to effective brand management. While many of the same metrics—reach, influence, conversion—still hold relevance, social brings forth a new lens through which to view these criteria, as well as a new game plan to follow.

Residual outcomes

When social is layered onto traditional and multichannel mixes the possible impact for a marketing message extends well beyond brand influence and perception, pacing into a realm of direct engagement and social shareability. Consumers are no longer passive viewers; they now have the option to tangibly interact, share with their network, and influence opinions far beyond their direct personal relationships.

Thus, brands must consider the depth of social experiences they create for consumers and what entices engagement and creates evangelists. Is it simply direct to product information, or do users desire a unique brand experience? What is the threshold to incentivize a consumer to take action—an opt-in for money saving coupons, sneak preview content, or the ability to influence a product’s development?

A blended traditional and social mix sets the stage for that positive engagement—traditional informs and provides compelling reasons to act; social provides the payoff. The net effect is the brand’s reward of an ongoing interaction with consumers, a greater understanding of their preferences, and integration into their lives.

Social logistics

Today’s menu of ways to reach consumers is vast and quickly morphing. A holistic marketer will harness that opportunity by strategically combining delivery platforms, content, timing, and placement with social strategies.

Take for example IZ-ON Media’s Dining TV Network, which serves up video content to patrons dining at major quick service restaurant establishments such as Carl’s Jr. and Wendy’s. According to Nielsen data, this platform sees high engagement with young urban males who are likely to utilize a mobile device, tablet, or laptop while dining, thereby providing the opportunity for highly targeted social engagement. Marketers can now leverage a logical bridge between off- and online media by embedding compelling social calls-to-action within engaging sight, such as sound and motion content airing to a targeted demographic dwelling in strategic locations. By blending brand messaging with entertaining and relevant elements—current music videos and popular culture references—and incorporating hashtags, promotions, and other incentivizing social payoffs, brands can create more authentic connections and organically integrate into consumers’ lives.


By actively listening and dialoguing with consumers, marketers can build synergistic campaigns and dynamically shape success. The beauty of leveraging these new strategies is that unlike traditional advertising, where mid-campaign nimbleness is limited, social elements enable flexibility and automated, cost-effective real-time tracking.

The most successful marketing initiatives leverage mediums that strategically engage target audiences at the right place and in the right mindset while simultaneously delivering relevant, compelling messages and payoffs at the right moment. By integrating social media into the mix, the door is open for honest, effective conversations between consumers and brands. This dialogue results in meaningful insights and measurable, long-lasting interactions leading to brand loyalty.

Tracy Boyd is VP of product marketing and management at IZ-ON Media.

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