Traditionalists join the digital and social party, too.

Even traditionalist marketers are realizing it’s important to adopt digital and social media practices — or get left behind. We’ve avowed that to our own clients for years, and now we can point to this article, which shows how firms that have been previously focused on traditional channels are now getting into the digital marketing mix.

Eastman Kodak is an interesting case, as I know them as a former client; for a firm founded on innovation, they’ve been hard-pressed to keep up with the tides of change, as we all know.  But they and others like Harte-Hanks and Pitney Bowes are rolling out marketing efforts and product innovations that leverage digital in some exciting new ways.

Even firms in that bastion of conservatism, the financial services sector, are budging on social media implementation, to either drive new services — or, in the case of Bank of America, to attempt to salve its damaged reputation.  Even so, they’re still playing catch-up.

Generally, however, financial services organizations are lagging in social adoption.  According to B2B, “only 57.8% of financial services respondents said they have adopted social media marketing, versus 95.2% of advertising companies, 80% of consultancies and 71.6% of technology businesses.”

A well-considered, authentic and open social media initiative might be just the medicine for some of these firms, frankly.  The more you can humanize the people behind the brand, especially in these tough times, the better the connection you’ll create with your customers.  And that connection works both ways — in keeping customers informed, and making the marketer more cognizant of what the real concerns are among users.  Would BoA have made the blunder of proposing debit card fees if they’d had any kind of serious feedback loop and two-way social presence in the social media world? I don’t think so.

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