Integrated marketing

Within the discussions about the rise of digital channels for marketing and communication is an argument for achieving the right balance.

For me, selling and delivering digital solutions for a living doesn’t mean that I believe digital is the only way to do things.

I still read newspapers, though less often. Doctors still see reps, though fewer. Patients still go to their local surgery, though they’ve searched online for symptoms and treatments beforehand.

Digital is not going to replace everything that is being done offline.

Just as there will still be newspapers on sale at the corner shop in ten years’ time there will still be sales reps visiting doctors.

They’ll just need a more compelling proposition.

There will still be live meetings where doctors and company execs benefit from open interaction in way that can’t be achieved virtually.

They may just be less frequent and smaller.

Not necessarily worse: perhaps an online and mobile initiative will drive better levels of engagement before and after the event, resulting in more influence with a smaller number of delegates who are more receptive and gain more from it.

Similarly, to be a digital agency is not to be against all other media.

We are happy to say that digital initiatives will be suitable to varying degrees in different situations, and some will have merit when others don’t.

Digital campaigns must integrate with other activities and serve a greater plan.

In launching our new Virtual Ad Board service (www.virtualadboard.net) we don’t advise clients to forgo all live meetings; it can be used to extend their capability or when the need is urgent and well-defined.

Digital and offline work best when they are not seen in isolation but as a dynamic blend, as this reflects the real world behaviour of customers.