Using traditional marketing to leverage social media

A recent article on social media ROI in eMarketer got me to thinking: what kind of impact does the traditional marketing mix have on social media success? And, can social media deliver optimum ROI without a blend with traditional marketing? The article brought to light the clear decision for Pepsi NOT to advertise during the Super Bowl this year. Instead, they are relying solely on digital marketing and PR (both traditional and social media) to push their Pepsi Refresh Project. But when you look at the numbers, as Clickz did, it appears that Pepsi’s number one competitor—Coke—won the battle. Coke continued to pay the big bucks for Super Bowl spots, yet in their ads, used the opportunity to build brand awareness and redirect viewers to their online presence, namely their Facebook page. As a result, they grew their fan base on Facebook by 390,000. During the same time, without the ads, Pepsi drew in another 300,000 fans. Looking at their total fan base, Coke sports more than five million fans. Pepsi lags behind with just over 600,000 fans. Whether or not the true test of social media ROI is in fan-based numbers alone is questionable, but it does show that while social media is certainly a game-player in the marketing mix, it cannot stand alone. Brand awareness must continue through your entire marketing mix, whether it’s traditional print advertising, direct mail pieces or local TV or radio. Use the traditional to redirect customers to the new. Therein lies the secret to greater ROI.


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