When Internet marketing started taking off and businesses began to implement it into their overall marketing strategies, there was no precedent for incorporating electronic and digital marketing techniques into a traditional marketing plan. Many businesses simply re-allocated their marketing dollars to pursue an all-in Internet marketing strategy. In doing so, they cut off some opportunities.

Over the years, businesses have learned that online marketing is just as necessary as traditional off-line marketing, but it shouldn’t replace it. Integrated marketing is an attempt to marry the traditional with the newfangled digital techniques developed by early Internet pioneers.

However, since those days, other online marketing tools and platforms have emerged. Video marketing has matured. Social media marketing is still growing, and in many ways achieving huge results for the businesses using it. Mobile marketing is just now coming into its own and is showing signs of huge potential. And, of course, search engine optimization will never go away. The question is, how much of these marketing tactics should you employ along with your traditional marketing tactics?

How to Integrate Digital Marketing Into Your Traditional Marketing Plan

Every business is different. Therefore, every marketing plan is going to be different. Some businesses can get by with a 100% online marketing plan. If you business exists entirely online and you have no real-world presence, you likely don’t need to do any–or much–off-line marketing. There may be some exceptions.

On the other hand, if your business is a brick-and-mortar business, you should still do some online marketing. You should NOT stop marketing off-line.

If you’ve never done any online marketing and you’re struggling with ways to integrate it into your traditional marketing set up, start slow. Your first step should be to build a well-optimized website that reflects your brand and converts visitors into customers. The best place to start is with your current customers. Does your website meet their needs? If not, it likely won’t meet the needs of new prospects either.

Next, find a way to capture e-mail addresses for future marketing. You need a way to keep potential customers on a string while you figure out how best to market to them.

From this point, online marketing is largely experimental, but you don’t just want to throw caution (and your budget) to the wind and try to figure it out. Your best bet is to have a guide who understands what other businesses like yours have done in the past to integrate online marketing into their traditional marketing plans. With that guide you can develop a marketing strategy that makes for your business.