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How to use Digital Strategy in an Analog World

By Yomi Vinayaka 

Digital vs. Analog: The Dilemma

As marketers, we know that the evolution of digital has changed the creation, promotion, distribution, and consumption of products. Although the breakthrough has been profound, consumers have not been able to completely forget the physical world. This is where many businesses struggle. There are debates on the overpowering and surpassing benefits of each, but what you as a progressive marketer really need to know is how to get the best of both worlds.

As per a study by Forrester Research, shoppers made 51% of their purchases online in 2016. Another research published in AdWeek reports that 81% of shoppers conduct online research before making a purchase decision. Hence, it becomes crucial for you to have an understanding of the impact of Digital on Analog marketing methods for the success of your business.

Now, what if I told you, there is a way to master it, and it will take only 4 weeks?

Well, that’s true! I did it, and now I’m giving away the secret to you here.

My Story:

Sometime back, one of my clients from the Hospitality industry came up with an idea of publishing an in-house magazine that would promote all of their properties and would be placed at the Welcome desk for customers to read. Being a Digital Marketer, I couldn’t resist suggesting them to avoid a printed copy and opt for an online or mobile platform instead. I learned from the client that it is easier to make people read (or glance) through a physical magazine over asking them to download an app or visit a blog. Throughout that project, I realized that just digital marketing would not help me and that I needed to know the traditional marketing space as well. Hence, I enrolled for a course on Coursera by the University of Illinois—Marketing in an Analog World.

After completing the course, I realized that we could promote the magazine on the client’s mobile app. I suggested developing QR codes that can be scanned through the mobile app installed on the customer’s phone. Once customers scan the code through their phone, they would be eligible to get discounted deals at the client’s properties. When the client implemented this, they not only saw an increase in the bookings but also increased use of their mobile app. This way, I was able to add value to the final output with the learnings I attained from this course.

What’s in it?

The Marketing in an Analog World course by the University of Illinois has very well thought out information presented in a very relatable and interesting way by Professor Aric Rindfleisch. The course content includes theories that detail concepts; real-life examples and case studies for practical understanding; and graded assignments for implementation of the knowledge learned. And if you implement the learnings in your business, you’ll see actual results.

The course content is designed by experienced professionals keeping in view the requirements of working professionals and adult learners. The following are the course contents:

Week 1: Digital Dominance of the Analog World

In the first week module, Prof. Rindfleisch gives a clear understanding of both Digital Marketing and Analog Marketing methods. The examples of Rotten Tomatoes and Grumpy Cat will help you in learning the concepts of democracy and efficiency that makes Digital Marketing dominate Analog Marketing.

Week 2: Analog Resistance

The second-week module talks about Analog marketing’s dominance over Digital Marketing methods. Physicality and protection are the key concepts explained in favor of Analog Marketing. This is elaborated using the example of vinyl records to make the concept clearer.

Week 3: Digital and Analog Symmetry

This module explains how to maintain and implement a synergy between digital and analog marketing methods. Glocal and Touchtech are highlighted as the underlying drivers of this synergy.

Week 4: Analog Transformation

Not to forget, analog methodologies have been transformed to match the digital world. This module lists details of such transformation. Embracing and distancing are the key concepts highlighted here.

The good thing about this course is that you don’t need any educational qualification to earn a certification. A good performance in peer-graded assignments and reviewing fellow students’ assignments is all that is required.

The words of Maya Angelou will keep you going, “When you know better, you do better.”

I would love to know your experience of the course. Share your story in the comments.



Yomi Vinayaka has over 5 years of experience as a Content Marketing professional. She has worked with leading brands and hasve helped them maximize the ROI of their content marketing efforts.