In 2010, Pepsi invested millions of dollars in the “Pepsi Refresh Project,” moving their entire marketing strategy to social media. The campaign was, of course, widely promoted via online networking channels and, in the beginning, it seemed like a huge success.

The brand generated over 80 million votes, 3.5 million Facebook likes and 60.000 followers on Twitter. However, the only thing they didn’t manage to do was sell the product. According to some 2010 surveys, the Pepsi-Cola brand faced a massive loss of over $350 million.

So, where did Pepsi go wrong?

The answer is pretty simple – they underestimated the power of traditional marketing techniques. Namely, with the astonishing advance of technology, the way businesses market to their audience has changed forever. With 2.46 billion users, social networks have become the backbone of every successful marketing campaign. They enable you to engage your followers with your brand, provide them with the real-time feedback and direct them to your website to make a purchase.

However, you should never forget that people still watch TV, read newspapers, collect coupons and take flyers in the street. After all, not everyone is present online. This is exactly why, sometimes, it is traditional marketing methods that drive greater customer conversion rates.

Unsurprisingly, the key to running an effective marketing campaign lies in combining these two approaches.

Merge your Inbound and Outbound Marketing Strategies

Unlike traditional marketing strategies, digital marketing enables companies to monitor their brand and product mentions on social networks. This helps you keep the pace with the trends in your niche, find out how your consumers feel about your brand and, most importantly, provide them with the real-time feedback and customer service. However, you need to keep in mind that not everyone is familiar with your brand or a particular marketing campaign you’re currently running. In order to raise your target audience’s awareness, you need to implement some traditional marketing techniques with your digital marketing strategy. Only this way will you be able to deliver a personalized approach and make the most of your marketing efforts.

This is exactly what Google is doing. Namely, with the rise of corporate philanthropy, the search engine giant decided to give away $5.5 million to Bay Area and let the local nonprofit innovators decide where the money should go. The way they conducted the survey was revolutionary. Namely, apart from creating a branded “GoogleImpactChallenge” hashtag and online voting, the company also installed interactive posters in numerous public places that were also used for voting. Such a customized campaign turned out to be a massive success and ended up gaining 400.000 votes in just three and a half weeks.

Promote Events on Social Networks

Event marketing provides you the opportunity to personify your brand and connect your customers with the humans behind it. Given this, it’s not surprising at all that 79% of U.S. marketers generate sales using event marketing. Today, with the advance of technology, our approach to this traditional marketing technique has changed radically. In order to cater to the needs of tech-savvy internet users, event marketing has fully adapted to the digital landscape.

Namely, social media plays a fundamental role in promoting a plethora of events and, at the same time, enable marketers to keep track of the attendance list and the success of the entire event. What you need to know is that implementing social media with your event marketing strategies is a complex process, embracing both offline and online approaches. Here are some of them.

  • Build a thorough social media promotion plan.
  • Create separate event pages on the social networks your target audience uses.
  • Share highlights from the previous similar events.
  • Emphasize who the guests of honor are.
  • Create a unified hashtag to share on all social networks, and inspire your followers to share it.
  • Share content related to the event, such as videos and pictures.
  • Organize social media contests for the attendees and share promotional products as rewards.
  • Create your social media campaign offline. For example, use the official event hashtag in posters, invitations, tickets and flyers you distribute to promote the event.

Drive Traffic from Print to Digital with QR Codes

Even though they have been around since the early ‘90s, Quick Response (QR) codes have gained momentum among the mobile users in the last few years. For many companies, these codes represent a creative way to grab their target audience’s attention, target them and raise their brand awareness through highly optimized content. The main reason why QR codes became so popular in the small business world lies in the fact that you can use them in flyer and booklet printing, coupons, tickets or business cards connect to your social media profiles, download contact information, display contest entry form, scan paperless tickets and many more.

One of the most memorable marketing campaigns using QR codes was “Santa Tags,” developed by JC Penney. This provided a gift giver the opportunity to record a personalized message that would start playing once the recipient scanned the QR code. Also, a gift giver could wrap the present in a wrapping paper printed with this particular QR code, which was pretty cool.


You don’t have to be an experienced marketer to understand that there is no need for choosing between traditional and digital marketing. On the contrary, only by merging them together will you be able to maximize your marketing efforts, attract more customers and generate more conversion rates.

By Emma Miller

About the author

Emma Miller is a marketer and a writer from Sydney. Her focuses are digital marketing, social media, start-ups and latest trends. She’s a contributor at Bizzmark blog.

Featured image via Yayimages.