Digital marketing has become unavoidable in recent years, as more and more of business happens online. In fact, in today’s digital world many brands never have to enter the arena of traditional marketing, and others don’t have even have a physical store. This is not to say that marketing has gotten easier, or that traditional marketing methods should be abandoned, but it is important to know what marketing options are available for your brand, and where digital marketing should fit into your general marketing strategy.
So, what is Digital Marketing?
Traditional marketing usually takes the form of physical, tangible things such as business cards, print ads, direct mail catalogues, TV and radio broadcasts, telemarketing, posters, commercials, and billboards. Basically, it involves any way in which you put your brand, product, or logo out there that is not online. Traditional marketing works on the fundamental basis that marketing techniques are based on the four P’s; product, price, place, and promotion.
Digital marketing, on the other hand, is any form of marketing that takes place online. This includes social media marketing, blogs, your website, content marketing, paid and promoted posts, search engine marketing, affiliate marketing, YouTube videos, and online advertisements. Digital marketing has not taken the place of traditional marketing methods but instead serves as an important addition to them.
At face value, digital marketing might seem to be extremely different from the traditional marketing methods, as it tends to rely mainly on only one of the four P’s mentioned above – promotion. However, when you look closer, digital marketing is not ignoring the other aspects of traditional marketing. It is, instead, utilising them in different ways that often could not be achieved through traditional methods. Unlike traditional marketing, digital marketing is considered ‘inbound’ and works on the basis of the consumer finding you, instead of you actively trying to target the consumer. Digital marketing is about designing marketing that will attract your ideal target audience while spreading awareness about your brand.
Digital Marketing vs Traditional Marketing
It is not that traditional marketing is not effective anymore, it is just that it is no longer the only way in which you can promote and market your brand. The digital world allows a very different way of connecting with your consumers and it is important to understand where traditional and digital marketing can be utilised together in the best way possible for your brand.
So, what are the real differences to consider when it comes to these two types of marketing? There are six main advantages to digital marketing, in comparison to traditional marketing:
While traditional marketing is a one-way communication from the brand to the customer, digital marketing allows for constant interactions between the brand and consumer, as well as interactions amongst the consumers themselves on your platforms.
Digital marketing allows for targeted and changeable advertisements. Where traditional marketing ads cannot be changed once they are published, digital ads can be targeted to the ideal audience and can be altered according to what is and isn’t working. Because of the platform, digital marketing is also not limited to just local audiences and can be distributed on an international scale at no extra cost.
Unlike traditional methods of marketing, digital marketing is much most cost-effective. A print advertisement is only effective if seen by the ideal audience during the time it is out there, and this cannot be guaranteed. They can be very expensive and have a short lifespan, while a digital advertisement can be shared for much longer online than a magazine issue and the costs are consistently lower than traditional marketing campaigns.
Digital marketing allows your audience to choose how they want to be exposed to your content, whereas traditional marketing does not. Phone calls can be inconvenient, sales flyers can be irritating and easily lost, and not everyone buys newspapers or magazines anymore. With digital advertisements, videos, blog posts, and websites, the modern consumer can choose how they want to follow your brand and therefore they are not just being exposed to your products, but are choosing to be involved with your brand.
Quick and Available Results
With the availability of Google Analytics and other social media insight tools, digital marketing allows for the easy and consistent tracking of campaign results. While traditional marketing strategies provide useful results after the campaign is over, they cannot be measured as easily or efficiently. Digital marketing strategies can be tracked in real time, which allows you to see immediately what is working and what is not – and those campaigns can be adapted or changed accordingly.
Level Playing Field
Digital marketing allows any business, of any size, with any marketing budget to compete with other businesses as long as they have a good digital marketing strategy. With the constant advancements in technology, it is easy for any business to produce a professional online presence and compete alongside any other brand – without the traditional divide between big commercial groups and new businesses.
The most important thing to remember when it comes to digital marketing is that it should not be neglected. If you have read our previous blog posts, you will remember that we have spoken about the fact that in this day and age you cannot avoid the digital. The modern consumer does their research online before purchasing a new product or trying a new service. Therefore, you have to make sure that your online space properly represents your brand. It doesn’t matter how you feel about it; today’s consumer wants to communicate with your brand and they expect to be able to find you online. Even if someone is handed a brochure or flyer about your business, the first thing that they are going to do is look you up online, scroll through your social media, and visit your website. Therefore, you have to make sure that you are properly utilising your digital space and ensuring that the customers that find you online like what they see.
So, What Now?
Looking back over the past few years of marketing it is clear that online marketing has grown exponentially and continues to grow every passing year with the advent of further technology that makes it easier to capitalise on digital space. The bottom line of any marketing campaign is exposure. The more people that see your brand, the better. The more consumers recognise your brand and your products, the more they begin to trust you and your message.
This is not to say in any way that traditional marketing cannot help you achieve this, it is simply important to invest your money in both traditional and digital, so as not to waste resources on marketing that is not going to benefit your brand. For example, instead of investing in print ads, radio, and television commercials in a wide scale attempt to achieve maximum exposure, instead limit your traditional marketing materials to already invested customers. If you already have a committed online customer base, traditional marketing materials can be used to further strengthen your relationship with them.
In conclusion: it is not about picking one over the other when it comes to digital versus traditional marketing methods, it is about integrating both in a multi-channel approach. It means utilising the digital sphere to capitalise on brand exposure and audience interaction, and carefully using traditional marketing methods to support brand consumer relations and make sure that your brand message is consistent and clear.
(Photo by Campaign Creators on Unsplash)