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MARKETING 4.0: Finding Synergy between Traditional Marketing and Digital Marketing!

Marketing 4.0

Have you ever wondered where the world of marketing is heading?

Whether the old or traditional, as we say, methods of marketing are relevant in the current scenario?

Can there be synergy or co-existence between traditional and digital marketing? If yes, is it easy to achieve and, more importantly, sustain.

If the above questions bother you, then this article is for you.

We are going to explore the below-mentioned points in this article:

Generation of Digital Natives

Disruptions caused by Technology

Three Paradoxes that Marketer must deal with

Transitioning from Traditional to Digital Marketing

Rise of Omni-channel Marketing and its importance


Generation of Digital Natives:

Generation of Digital Natives

These are the people who are the focus of every marketer in the world.

Below are their characteristics:

a. They grew up with digital technology

b. They are young, urban, middle class, mobile, and connected

c. They make purchases on their own schedule and in their own way

d. They research items online and they value interaction and engagement

e. They trust their social network more than they trust marketing messages.

f. Interruption marketing doesn’t work anymore with them


Disruptions caused by Technology

Global Connectivity and technological advancements have led to huge disruptions across the world.

Below are some of the broad disruptions worth mentioning:

a. Exclusivity to Inclusivity

Economies across the world are moving towards a collaborative approach rather than a competitive approach.

This led to decrease in the influence of western world.

EX: Ebola fighters were mentioned in Times and Forbes rather than influential leaders of Western World.

Also, frugal innovations are leading to emergence of clone businesses in emerging economies.

Ex: Flipkart inspired by Amazon, GRAB inspired by Uber, Alipay inspired by Paypal

Industries are finding out ways to integrate with each other.

Ex: Medical centres in tourist spots collaborated with tourism centres and banks to ease the insurance and healthcare facilities for tourists.

Internet and social media has also redefined the way people interact with each other. It enabled people to build relationships without geographic and demographic barriers.

Ex: Crowdsourcing platforms like Wikipedia has transformed the way people exchange information.

b. Individual to Social

Consumers are paying more attention to their social circles rather than marketing messages to make decisions.

Ex: Emergence of social commerce platforms like Charmboard

c. Vertical to Horizontal

Companies are getting more focused on their approach rather than getting into multiple things.

Ex: MNCs like P&G and HUL have outsourced R&D and product development and are focusing solely on go-to-market strategy.

Technology has enabled companies to enter into industries they wouldn`t have entered otherwise.

Ex: Uber entering into food delivery business, Flipkart entering into the flight booking

The above disruptions have given birth to paradoxes that marketers must deal with. We will look at them in the next section.


Three Paradoxes that Marketer must deal with

a. Online vs Offline Interaction

Offlive vs online

Online businesses can capture an increasing percentage of sales, but they can’t make offline businesses obsolete

Marketers must create experiences for clients that blend online and offline interaction.

Below are examples of some of the successful implementation of this model:

Physical stores such as Macy’s use iPhone apps and location-based marketing technology to enhance their customer`s experience.

Birchbox, an online-first beauty product retailer, opened its brick-and-mortar store to complement its existing eCommerce business. The retailer provides iPads to make personalized recommendations, mimicking its online personalization scheme.

Zappos, an online shoe and clothing retailer, relies heavily on very personal call center interactions as a winning formula.

When making transactions on ATMs in Bank of America’s Express Financial Centres, customers can video-chat with a personal teller for assistance.

b. Informed customer vs. distracted customer

Informed vs distracted customer

The opinions of other people and personal experience all affect consumer`s buying decisions.

Growing dependence on digital devices distracts consumers and hampers their ability to focus.

Thus, attention becomes one of the most precious commodities.

Interruptive ads, banners, etc. are no longer effective.

Hence, Marketers need to change their stance to grab people’s attention and join their conversations within brand communities.

Ex: Redbull conducts events and parties on a regular basis and integrates messages within those events. This leads to undivided attention from customers.

c. Negative advocacy vs. Positive advocacy

Connectivity amplifies the voices of brand advocates and detractors.

All types of voices, for or against a brand, can travel across geographies and affect the brand image positively/ negatively.

Below are the most substantial brand advocates:


They are the early adopters. They love to experiment. They are forerunners in giving reviews, feedbacks, and opinions.


Women make the majority of purchasing decisions for most homes. Before buying, they collect information, conduct online research, compare, shop, and ask their friends` and relatives` opinions.


Netizens believe in the Internet. They embrace open, shared, and transparent communication. They participate online by creating content, posting comments, tagging Web pages, and acting as social connectors.

The most famous and widely adopted measurement of brand advocacy is NPS score.

NPS surveys form an integral part of marketing strategy of all the companies nowadays.

This helps organization in identifying below set of people:

PROMOTERS: Those who love the product and will definitely recommend them to friends and family.

PASSIVES: Those who don`t care about the existence of a product/ brand.

DETRACTORS: Those who will advise against the usage of brand.


Transitioning from Traditional to Digital Marketing

Those who still believe that following only traditional marketing methods can lead to success are probably living in a parallel universe.

A balance between the two is essential for a holistic marketing plan.

Below are some of the transitions that can help with it:

a. Transition from segmentation and targeting to permissions from communities

Methods of segmenting and targeting audiences and bombarding them with promotional SMS and mails are becoming inefficient.

Now is the time to enter communities where relevant interactions happen and to give value to the audience,

Ex: Facebook groups/marketing clubs etc.

b. From brand positioning and differentiation to Brand clarification of character and codes

Logo and name are no longer the only brand identities.

Customers are interested in brand character and codes.

Character of a brand is the brand`s authentic reason for being in existence.

Ex: Google changes its logos daily and calls it Doodles, but that doesn`t affect brand`s character.

Google`s character lies in being a search engine and it is deeply engraved in consumer`s minds.

c. From selling the four Ps to commercializing the Four Cs

four Cs

Since long, four Ps of marketing, namely Product, Price, Place, and Promotion has remained an integral part of all marketing communication.

Strategies of an organization are centered on these Ps and all major decisions are affected by them.

But now these Ps have evolved themselves and taken anew Avatar as 4 Cs which are mentioned below:


This refers to collaboration among companies and consumers to develop, modify, and customize products according to needs of consumers.

Ex: Printvenue.com where customers can give their own design for apparels.


Prices for products can be modified as per journey of customer. Loyalty should be rewarded in monetary terms.

Ex: Cash backs, coupon code, etc.

Communal activation:

Gone are the days of established, monopolistic stores. Here comes the age of marketplaces.

Marketplaces are the new norm for product displays and point of sales.

Ex: Zomato is a marketplace for hotels, Flipkart is a marketplace for products


Disruptive or One-way conversation is slowly fading.

Consumers want to interact with brands, give feedbacks, rate products/services, and express their views.

Social media has made it extremely convenient and engaging.

Ex: It is a kind of mandate for all brands to have social media presence and to regularly interact with customers.


Rise of Omni-channel Marketing and its importance

In simplest terms, Omnichannel marketing means seamless integration of multiple channels to guide customers along their journey, no matter where they started and where they want to stop.

Below are some of the ways and case studies of brands leading the way:

Focusing on mobile integration of customer touchpoints

Ex: Scan BMW image in a newspaper ad to visit website,

Scan Ikea catalog to visit website and explore products

Ikea catalog

Bringing web rooming into offline channels

Ex: Bluetooth enables stores that send personalized offers to customers when they are in close proximity to a particular brand.

Bringing showrooming into online channels

Ex: Metro station in South Korea decorated with wallpaper of grocery by TESCO to shop on the spot. Customers can scan the pic on the wall and book stuff on the app.

To explore more case studies, click here.

So we can conclude that a definite and unavoidable synergy is required between traditional and digital marketing methods for an effective and sustainable marketing strategy.

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