In the 21st century, there exist two different generations working together: the young adults who have grown up in the “digital age” and the baby boomers. Although many of the baby boomer generation have adopted the digital into their personal and working lives, some still prefer traditional media forms, such as print newspapers. In order to successfully sell and advertise to everyone, mixed media—a combination of the print and digital—is crucial.

In this digital age, the benefits of social media are countless. Perhaps one of the most evident qualities of social media is the way it allows people to be both the content creators as well as the users. We can shape our online personas, companies, etc. but can also actively engage with the sites we use. Clearly, business competition is growing with the ever-increasing use of social media sites. However, the opportunities and outlets for creativity are also increasing. Take Twitter as an example. A 160 character limit may seem daunting, but this is actually the ideal way to promote a company or to send people to an important link. Twitter truly illustrates the idea that “less is more.”

In the fast-paced, on-the-go world we live in, we also face the inevitable digitalization of newspapers. And when we read online articles, we are targeted with advertisements catered to our tastes and interests. According to a 2012 study by the Newspaper Association of America on newspaper multiplatform usage, multiplatform newspaper users “value the ability to consume newspapers in the format that is most convenient and useful depending on time and place.” During the study, 66% of past-week digital newspaper users acted on ads on newspaper sites across platforms. Another key point to note in this study is that 48% of the people studies preferred print circulars vs. online. However, the majority said that online is “easier to make comparisons.”

Clearly, there are pros and cons to both print and digital media, and much of this is a matter of personal preference. In this age of mixed media, the most important thing to do is to learn about your customers. An important value of Virtanza is the importance of human relationships and personal interaction. By understanding the needs of the people you are selling to, you can increase your own sales as well as develop connections. Even if you are on the web and lack the opportunity to connect with your audience on a personal level, you can still find out what will drive them to purchase your product or service.

Indeed, a common theme across the board is targeting consumers. Websites for companies like Nielsen promote this idea and provide marketing tips and strategies. In fact, on its website, Nielsen states, “…we believe innovation is the key to success, in both what you create and how you market your products and ideas. That’s why we continue to develop better solutions to help you meet the needs of today’s consumers, and find out where they’re headed next.”

As I post on this blog each week, I will hone in on different sales and marketing strategies through online and print media. As an intern, I am currently researching effective tools for targeting customers and the ways in which companies can use social media marketing to their benefit.