Marketing has evolved dramatically in the past few decades. We have a host of new product and service categories, new channels with which to communicate, new expectations and conventions around those channels . . . and a rapidly changing, tech-empowered society to further complicate it all.

The latest push forward has centered largely on digital marketing: websites, email marketing, social media marketing, multimedia marketing and mobile marketing –and the underlying data and analytics aspects that make it “go” —to name just a few options available to pros today.

As companies shift their budgets to include the latest technologies, the same questions about priorities keep coming up again and again: Has digital marketing completely eclipsed traditional marketing? Do classic strategies matter anymore?

The buzz around today’s new platforms could lead you to believe that yes, digital marketing does, in fact, require your immediate –and complete –attention. But savvy marketers know there’s no need to jettison established channels in favor of every new opportunity that comes along. One, if not the main truism, remains: It’s always about customer engagement, and making those relationships more interactive.

Here’s why traditional marketing still matters . . . and how you can combine marketing channels to create effective campaigns:

  • Different audiences exist on different channels. Few companies can say for certain that their entire audience has “gone digital.” So why give up on those who connect with you elsewhere? For all the people glued to their smartphones, there are still plenty glued to their television sets.By balancing your efforts and your marketing spend, you stay connected with customers and potential customers everywhere.
  • Different techniques engage your audience in different ways. There’s a difference in the way a television campaign engages your audience versus how a social media campaign calls them to action. Audiences who view your messages on their smartphones or tablets have a different experience than ones who catch your ad in the paper.By combining passive (view and connect) and interactive (respond and connect) strategies, you stand a better chance of engaging a broader audience overall.
  • Integration benefits both sides of the marketing spectrum. The brand messaging strength of a traditional ad campaign can add punch to your social media messages. On the other hand, uploading your best (most meaningful, most funny, etc.) ads to YouTube gives your fans a chance to share what it means to them. The opportunity to interact with you on Twitter or Facebook can keep the impact of a television spot going long after its 30 seconds have passed. Including a QR code in your print campaigns ensures that your website gets plugged in to your audience’s smartphones. The options are truly endless!

Ultimately, a balance between the old and new makes for the most comprehensive—and successful—approach. If you can use the best aspects of your digital campaigns to add spice to your traditional campaigns, and the strongest messages of your traditional campaigns to add resonance to your digital efforts, you’ve gone further than any single channel, or type of channel, could possibly go.

And that sounds exactly like what every smart marketer wants to achieve: creating compelling, lasting and mutually-rewarding customer relationships.