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Old vs. New: Why Not Both? [Rural Telecommunications]
[June 28, 2014]

Old vs. New: Why Not Both? [Rural Telecommunications]

(Rural Telecommunications Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) The world of marketing is changing. For some, it can't change fast enough. Why wait for the mailman when email is instant? Why spend money upgrading your website when there are low-cost blogging platforms that give you almost as many options? Why do TV commercials when your customers are willing to brag about your company on Facebook for free? For rural telcos, the transition to digital and social marketing has been more gradual. As longtime Rural Telecom contributor Rachel Brown observes in "The Power and Place of Traditional Marketing," traditional marketing tactics (defined as everything from TV com^ ^ to radio ads, direct mailings and bill inserts) still make up most of rural telcos' marketing budgets-presumably because as the industry considers the return on investment of new media, many have found that social marketing is not necessarily a replacement for good, old-fashioned broadcasting. In the battle of old versus new, old school seems to be winning the day.

But why, I ask, must we pick one or the other? Why not have both? In this issue, you'll read about how rural telecom providers have merged the two-social and traditional-to amplify their messages and reach diverse audiences. At a time when new services are being rolled out at a rapid clip and results are needed right away, it's hard to gamble all of your resources on anything less than tried and true. But when marketing dollars are scarce, online platforms can provide a free or low-cost alternative to expensive ad buys.

The key is finding your own special brew. Have a taste of what your colleagues have tested and decide what's best for you.

Laura Withers Director of Communications (c) 2014 National Telephone Cooperative

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